As gas prices continue to rise, state lawmakers are focusing on a tried and true tradition: lowering the state’s gas tax.
Assembly Republican Minority Leader James Tedisco said today that he plans to introduce legislation to eliminate gas taxes on prices over $2 per gallon from Memorial Day to Labor Day, and use the money from other gas taxes on renewable energy initiatives. The minority conference also wants to redirect revenue from car registration fees and license renewals to renewable energy programs.
Meanwhile, some Senate Republicans are also calling for a “gas-tax holiday” from Memorial Day to Labor Day, providing a complete suspension of gas taxes during the summer months.
Sen. Joseph Robach, R-Greece, said the measure would save New Yorkers 33 cents per gallon in state gasoline taxes, and the savings would double if the federal government also suspends its own taxes, which is being contemplated on Capitol Hill.
Last year, the state Legislature capped sales tax on gas at eight cents per gallon. And some counties limited the sales tax they collect to the first $2 of the price.
No word yet on whether Gov. Paterson or the Democratic-controlled Assembly would come on board.
But Paterson said in a radio interview Tuesday that a gas-tax suspension doesn’t mean that prices will necessarily drop.
“There is no mandate that is making the retailer pass that savings that we created out of the tax along to the consumer,” Paterson said. “And until we find a way to make that happen, we are not going to be able to” lower prices consistently.