Assemblyman Joe Giglio (R-Gowanda) announced today that the New York State Legislature has reached a bi-partisan agreement to cap the state tax on gasoline, saving motorists four cents per gallon. The agreement awaits the governor’s approval, who has yet to publicly state his support.
“My colleagues and I in the Assembly minority conference have been asking for bi-partisan support on this issue for weeks now,” said Giglio. “I am pleased that our majority counterparts have followed our lead in delivering relief for pain at the pump.”
Giglio publicly expressed his disappointment when the Assembly majority defeated an amendment introduced by the minority conference on April 11th to cap the state gas tax. The bill, which had previously passed the Senate, was voted down 77-64 with 77 majority members voting against it.
“Throughout this legislative session, our conference has taken the lead on important legislation to deliver tax relief to millions of New Yorkers,” said Giglio. “Fighting to cap the gas tax is just another example of my commitment to the people of the Southern Tier, who are reaching a breaking point with soaring fuel costs.”
The new agreement caps gasoline taxes at eight cents per gallon, equal to what the state collects on a $2 gallon. With gas prices around $3 per gallon, motorists are paying the state approximately 12 cents per gallon. Giglio added that local taxes on gasoline still range from 12 to 15 cents per gallon across the state and that counties could “opt in” by capping their tax at the $2 or $3 per gallon level.
“I have heard the calls from my constituents in the Southern Tier, that enough is enough with these debilitating fuel costs,” said Giglio. “This is a necessary short-term solution to the problem, but we must also be proactive in implementing programs for the future that will end our addiction to foreign oil.”
Giglio has been vocal about long-term initiatives to end the state’s dependence on foreign oil. The Assembly minority has introduced a plan, which is known as the Alternative Fuel Incentive Fund, which includes tax credits and grant funding for the research, development, and use of alternative fuels.
The current revenue generated from the state gasoline sales tax was not part of any budget projections and the state has been reaping a windfall as gas prices continue to climb. “I promise to continue to work with my Assembly minority colleagues to keep New Yorkers’ hard-earned money in their pockets and out of the bulging purse of state government.”
The bill, to be voted on next week, would take effect June 1 and could save taxpayers up to $450 million.