Brewster, N.Y. – 10/19/2012 – Senator Greg Ball (R, C, I – Patterson) introduced new legislation aimed at saving consumers money at the gas pump by focusing on three causes of rising gas prices: zone pricing, cash vs. credit pricing, and gas taxes.
“We are getting mugged at the pump from all sides by ever-increasing gas prices,” Senator Ball said. “Whether it’s the extra 10 cents per gallon to pay with a credit card, or the extra 30 cents per gallon because you bought gas in the wrong neighborhood, or even the 33 cents per gallon for buying in New York State, Big Oil and Big Government should not smile and watch their coffers grow as consumer misery skyrockets.”
Senator Ball’s “Fair Gas Pricing” legislation will:
- Require gas stations to fairly advertise different Cash vs. Credit pricing by displaying the two prices equally, and by clearly stating Debit Card pricing;
- Amends the 2008 ban on zone pricing to utilize the recommendations of the Attorney General’s office, clearly defining “Geographic Market” as a factor of operating costs only; and
- Enacts the “Gas Tax Holiday,” suspending 33-cents per gallon in state taxes for the Memorial Day, Independence Day, and Labor Day holiday weekends.
Senator Ball noted that the 2008 ban on zone pricing has been proven ineffective, resulting in 0 prosecutions since the law was enacted.
“We have seen instances where a tanker will deliver half its gas at one location at one price, then deliver the other half to a second location a few miles down the road for a higher price. Basic principles of fairness say that the same gas from the same tanker should cost the same price, and those savings passed along to the consumer,” Senator Ball said. “Loop Holes in previous pieces of legislation have allowed for the unfair practice of zone pricing for gasoline to continue. In some parts of my district the disparity in gas prices from town to town is over 30 cents a gallon. Rules against zone pricing need to be made more strict, and penalties need to be levied upon corporations who continue this practice.”
The Gas Tax Holiday incorporated into Senator Ball’s “Fair Gas Pricing” legislation will suspend the three separate state taxes on fuel: the 8-cent excise tax; the 8-cent sales tax; and the 17-cent Petroleum Business Tax. Suspending these taxes will provide consumers an immediate savings of 33 cents per gallon of gasoline, or about $5 per fill-up. Counties also have the option to provide up to an additional 16-cent tax cut, which would raise the total savings at the pump to 49 cents per gallon. Additionally, the bill will not negatively impact the Dedicated Highway and Bridge Trust Fund, which is maintained by taxes collected on the sale of motor fuels.
Finally, the “Fair Gas Pricing” will correct a consistent consumer complaint regarding unfair display of Cash v. Credit pricing. Senator Ball’s legislation will require gas stations to fairly display both cash and credit prices at the same size in all instances, to limit the price difference to the 3% fee that gas stations pay to process credit cards, and to also label debit card pricing. Too often, gas stations will advertise the cash price only on their marquee only for the customer to discover that the credit price is higher than a competing gas station across the street.
For more information or to speak with Senator Ball, please contact Joe Bachmeier at (845) 200 9716.