State Senator Joe Robach today announced a legislative agreement to roll back New York's gas tax to provide some relief to strapped motorists faced with rising gas prices. The plan, which will save motorists up to $450 million a year and immediately lower the cost of gasoline in New York by at least four cents per gallon, is expected to be approved next week and takes effect June 1.
Motorists could save even more if county governments roll back their own tax, as authorized under the agreement.
The joint Senate-Assembly deal caps the state sales tax on gasoline at 8 cents per gallon. Right now, the sales tax is set at a percentage of the price of gasoline, and rises and falls based on the sales price. At $3 a gallon, the state collects 12 cents a gallon in sales tax, and county and other local governments add an additional levy ranging from 12 cents to 15 cents.
The agreement also requires service station owners to pass the savings from the gas cap on to motorists, and sets fines of up to $5,000 per incident for stations that fail to do so.
Senator Robach has been urging a roll back of the gas tax since prices begin their recent upward spike. Since then, the Senate has voted twice to impose a gas tax cap - legislation which was sponsored by Senator Robach. This agreement marks the first time the Assembly has joined in the effort.
The Senate and Assembly will continue to discuss proposals to encourage the development and use of alternative sources of energy and encourage energy conservation and the purchase of energy-saving products and materials.