Senator Fuschillo calls on Gov. Paterson to repeal plan to increase gas taxes

Charles J. Fuschillo Jr.

March 13, 2009

State Senator Charles J. Fuschillo, Jr. (8th Senate District) today called on Governor Paterson to eliminate his proposal to raise gas taxes and increase fees for other driving related expenses such as obtaining a driver license, registering a car, and getting license plates.

“With gas prices expected to rise again in the spring, Governor Paterson’s proposed tax increases will further burden consumers by raising prices at the pump. In addition, making other driving related needs more expensive will raise costs for individuals and businesses. With so many families and small businesses struggling, now is not the time to increase taxes,” said Senator Fuschillo, who holds a leadership role on the Senate’s Transportation Committee.  

As part of his budget proposal, Governor Paterson proposed eliminating the state sales tax cap on a gallon of gasoline. Currently, only the first $2 per gallon of gas is subject to state sales tax. Removing this cap means that drivers will pay more in sales taxes as the price per gallon increases. Estimates are that this would cost drivers $90 million statewide this fiscal year. Some experts predict that the price will be rising by 30 to 50 cents per gallon this Spring.

In addition to removing the sales tax cap on gasoline, Governor Paterson has also proposed a 25% increase in the fees for driver’s licenses and vehicle registrations. Governor Paterson is also seeking to raise fees for vehicle license plates just one year before new state license plates will start being phased in. Drivers will be required to purchase these new plates when they register their vehicle.

Larry Blessinger, Jr., owner of All Island Transportation, Nassau County’s largest taxi fleet, joined Senator Fuschillo in opposing the Governor’s tax increases. Mr. Blessinger said, “Governor Paterson’s proposed tax increases would harm my customers, my drivers, and my business. Higher gas prices take money out of each driver’s pocket and ultimately forces us to raise fares to keep up with expenses. Raising costs for businesses is not a way to fix a broken economy.”