Assembly Minority Offers Bill To Cap Gas Tax On Any Amount Above $2

Majority defeats amendment 77-63

Today, the Assembly minority conference offered an amendment to provide a sales tax exemption on motor and diesel fuel costing over $2.00 per gallon. The amendment failed 77-63 with 77 majority members voting to retain the tax. The cap would have saved motorists $.08-$.10 per gallon. The bill had previously passed in the Senate.

New Yorkers are taxed $.63 per gallon on average ($.184 federal tax included), the highest rate in the Northeast. Included in the price of a gallon of gasoline are excise taxes, Petroleum Business Taxes, a petroleum testing fee, a spill tax, a federal tax and state and local sales taxes.

“With no end in sight to these soaring gas prices, we thought it necessary to offer New Yorkers some much-needed relief,” said Assemblyman Steve Hawley (R,C,I-Batavia). “Unfortunately for New Yorkers, my counterparts in the majority disagreed.”

The U.S Department of Energy reported today in its seasonal outlook that on average, motorists will pay $.25 more per gallon for regular grade gasoline this summer compared to a year ago.

Last week motorists paid a nationwide average of $2.68 a gallon for regular, an 18-cent increase in two weeks and 40 cents higher than the national average a year ago.

“We have to do more to ease the burden of rising gas and energy costs,” said Hawley. “My minority colleagues and I will continue to introduce legislation aimed at reducing gas and energy taxes and costs while creating incentives for the development and use of alternative fuels, vehicles, and generators.”