Constituent Sound Off: Bob Yaekel Of Canandaigua Asks About The Gas Price-Gas Tax Connection
Legislative column from Assembly Minority Leader Brian M. Kolb (R,I,C-Canandaigua)
February 10, 2012
My recent Town Hall meetings across Ontario County were another HUGE success! A very special thank you to everyone who took time out of their busy Saturday to attend and share smart ideas for sensible solutions. Constituent suggestions are important; they can quickly become the basis for legislation or casework that solves a problem with a State Agency, cuts through layers of needless bureaucracy and makes New York a more affordable place to live and work. CONSTITUENT IDEAS, QUESTIONS NOT LIMITED TO TOWN HALL MEETINGS However, good ideas (and even better questions) from constituents are not simply limited to my Town Hall meetings. In fact, my Geneva district office routinely receives thousands of calls, e-mails, letters and faxes from constituents seeking answers to their questions about state government or some matter of public policy affecting all New Yorkers. For this week’s legislative column, I would like to answer one such question that affects us all: rising gas prices. BOB YAEKEL OF CANANDAIGUA WANTS TO KNOW MORE ABOUT THE CONNECTION BETWEEN NY’S GAS PRICES AND GAS TAXES A constituent of mine – Mr. Bob Yaekel, of Canandaigua – recently contacted my office suggesting a column focused on the connection between New York’s high gas prices and New York’s high gas taxes. With gasoline prices forecast to rise to $4 - and possibly $5 - per gallon this year, the question could not come at a better time. Bob, this column is for you! NY’S TAXES AND FEES KEEP PRICE OF GASOLINE ARTIFICIALLY HIGH As this weekly column is being written – the second week of February 2012 – the average price for a gallon of regular gasoline is $3.79 (Source: Gas Buddy). As a point of comparison, the average price for a gallon of regular gasoline in neighboring New Jersey is $3.44, and in nearby Pennsylvania, the price is $3.58. So, what accounts for this price disparity – and why are New York motorists paying, on average, anywhere between $3 to almost $5 more each time they fill-up (for a 15-gallon tank) versus what folks in New Jersey and Pennsylvania pay? The answer can be summed up in two words that New Yorkers know all too well: taxes and fees. NEW YORK’S TAXES AND FEES MEAN THAT MOTORISTS PAY MUCH MORE AT THE PUMP! State government imposes 33 cents per gallon in taxes on motor fuel, and 31 cents per gallon in taxes on diesel motor fuel. These figures of 33 cents and 31 cents are actually broken down into three separate taxes:
- “State Petroleum Business Tax” – 17 cents per gallon on motor fuel and 15.25 cents per gallon on diesel motor fuel;
- “State Excise Tax” – 8 cents per gallon on motor fuel and diesel motor fuel; and
- “State Sales Tax” – This is already CAPPED at 8 cents per gallon and 8.75 cents per gallon in the MTA region (downstate, New York) on both motor fuel and diesel motor fuel.
- “Petroleum Testing Fee” – 0.05 cents/gallon and is deposited into the “Motor Fuel Quality Account” to cover monitoring to ensure the fuel contains the proper chemical makeup; and
- “Oil Spill Fund Fee,” which is 0.3 cents/gallon and is deposited into the “Oil Spill Fund” to help offset costs if an oil spill occurs.
- “Federal Excise Tax” – 18.4 cents per gallon on motor fuel and 24.4 cents per gallon on diesel motor fuel.
- $0.08 Excise Tax;
- $0.08 State Sales Tax; and
- $0.17 Petroleum Business Tax
- $.0005 Petroleum Testing Fee; and
- $.0030 Oil Spill Fund Fee
- $0.184 Federal Excise Tax
- $0.14 Local Sales Tax