Assemblyman Brian Kolb (R,C-Canandaigua) today applauded the agreement to cap the state sales tax on gasoline at $2 per gallon to give motorists some relief at the pumps. Kolb maintained the state has been reaping a windfall over the past year because, as gas prices rise, so does state sales tax revenue, which is tied to the cost of gasoline.
“We are going to need bipartisan support to make this work. It would be great if the Assembly majority supports this effort,” said Kolb. “The agreement is still tentative, and most Assembly majority members were initially very cool to this consumer-friendly measure. But I am optimistic we will have a vote next week.”
Since mid-April, Kolb and his Assembly minority colleagues have tried to bring gas tax reform to fruition. The efforts include a losing vote on April 11 of a minority-sponsored amendment that would have capped the state sales tax on fuels at $2 per gallon. Minority members have since held press conferences across the state demanding relief. They also started a statewide petition drive to build grass-roots support from the public. Now that a tax cap is close, Kolb stated his conference will push for establishment of an Alternative Fuel Incentive Fund, a long-range plan targeted at reducing the state and nation’s dependency on foreign oil.
The fund would be financed with state sales tax revenue on the second dollar of each gallon of gasoline. It would provide tax credits, grants, investments and other incentives to encourage ownership of hybrid and flex-fuel vehicles, and construction of alternative fueling stations and refineries.