Senator Marcellino Seeks Relief For Motorists

Carl L Marcellino

May 02, 2008

Senator Carl L. Marcellino (R-Syosset) has introduced legislation which would eliminate the State’s sales tax on gasoline, a move which would save New York drivers about $500 million a year.

"Gas prices are skyrocketing at the pump. Yet, big oil companies, awash in first quarter profits, are continuing to make money from the record gasoline prices that are pinching motorists. This is wrong and something must be done to help the average driver make ends meet. This is why I have introduced this bill to eliminate New York’s sales tax on gasoline," said Senator Marcellino.

Elimination of the sales tax on gas would save drivers over $500 million a year. Pump prices could drop at least 4 percent (over 11 cents as prices reach almost $3 a gallon). Marcellino’s legislation would return money to the pockets of drivers immediately.

This action follows Senator Marcellino’s request for the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) to investigate possible price gouging by oil companies. In 2004 the FTC said there was no evidence of price gouging, yet consumers are still paying more at the pump, while oil companies report record profits.

"In the time of this crisis of high gasoline prices Senator Marcellino's legislation would give immediate relief to the taxpayers of the State of New York. I congratulate him for this bold initiative." Michael R. Long, State Chairman of the New York State Conservative Party

"I appeal to the County Executives to join me in eliminating the County’s portion of the sales tax or at the very least capping it. Governments should not be provided with a windfall on the backs of their citizens. The taxpayer needs relief and the quickest way to offer some relief is by eliminating the sales tax. Driving for most people is not a luxury, it is a necessity that is critical to their lives," said Senator Marcellino," said Senator Marcellino.

"To add insult to injury, the earnings for the big oil companies have come in and to no one’s surprise profits have risen dramatically. The oil industry can point to many reasons as to why our prices are high, most recently hurricane Katrina. The FTC must remain vigilant in identifying and challenging collusion in petroleum and other energy markets," said Senator Marcellino.

Ralph Bombardiere of the Gasoline and Automotive Service Dealers Association, LTD and the New York State Association of Service Stations and Repair Shops, Inc. said, "on behalf of our members I wish to express our gratitude to Senator Marcellino. His efforts to determine the cause of the uncontrollable rising motor fuel prices maybe the first step in finding a solution. The people and small business of this state may be unable to survive because of these ever escalating prices. We applaud his efforts and join him in seeking a response from those causing the problem. We need others in government to do the same."

Through Senator Marcellino’s urging, in 2004, New York State created a Gasoline Price Stability Task Force to monitor the retail price of gasoline. This multi-agency effort to protect consumer interests monitors the retail price of gasoline and investigates any allegation of gasoline price gouging or price fixing.

Senator Marcellino reminded consumers to be the Gasoline Price Stability Task Force’s eyes and ears. The Consumer Protection Board (CPB) is operating a toll-free telephone number (1-800-214-4372) and provides a complaint form on their web site ( for consumers to report possible instances of gasoline price gouging or price fixing. Such allegations will be promptly investigated by the CPB and may be referred to the Attorney General for enforcement.

"Yes, we must protect ourselves from unscrupulous dealings. However these actions won’t protect middle class families who are being faced with extraordinarily high prices at the gas pump today, the elimination of the sales tax will," concluded Senator Marcellino