NYS Seal For Immediate Release:
April 30, 2008


Statement From Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver
Regarding State Taxes On Gasoline


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This entire issue is about Republicans trying to hide from the failures of the Bush Administration.

Oil companies in the United States are already making outrageous profits, and these companies dominate the Republican Bush Administration in Washington. The Bush administration has refused to take any action to rein in huge oil company profits and the Administration has failed to put in place an effective energy policy that puts consumers first and moves our country toward energy independence.

There is absolutely no guarantee that tax savings would be passed on to consumers. In fact, I believe that oil companies will simply raise their prices to eliminate any cost savings for the public.

Gasoline taxes in New York State are already capped, and are based on the number of gallons purchased, not the cost of the gasoline. So, the rising cost of gasoline does NOT result in greater tax revenues for the state.

Eliminating the gas tax in New York State for the summer months will result in a $500 million shortfall in revenues that are dedicated to road and bridge construction across the state - and we already have a deficit in funding for these vital projects. In a year when New York State is already facing significant economic challenges, it is the height of fiscal irresponsibility to create this enormous hole in the state budget.

If our Republican legislative colleagues are truly concerned about the high cost of gasoline and its devastating effect on New York State's working families, the best thing they could do is to call their friends in Washington and demand that the Bush Administration act now to address this problem.

I do not support the proposal to lift state taxes on gasoline for the summer months.