Senator Robach Leads Charge For Relief In Gas Pricing

Joseph E. Robach

April 23, 2008

Proposes Suspending State Gasoline Taxes from Memorial Day Through Labor Day to Provide Tax Savings To New York’s Families and Businesses

    With rising gasoline prices putting a major strain on New York’s families and businesses, State Senator Robach today called on Governor David Paterson to consider suspending New York State’s gasoline taxes during the summer travel season from Memorial Day to Labor Day to provide much needed tax relief at the gas pump. Senator Robach has joined with his colleagues Senators Lanza and Fuschillo to introduce legislation, Senate Bill S.7594, which would eliminate the New York State tax on gasoline from Memorial Day to Labor Day.

    Senator Robach said, “High gas prices hurt New York’s families and businesses across the board. With the current economic situation, families are counting every penny to make ends meet. This means that people are buying fewer goods, taking fewer trips, and dining out less. Lower gas prices would put more money back in the pockets of New York’s families during the summer travel season and better stimulate our economy.”

     Assemblyman Bill Reilich said, "Our working families and local businesses are feeling the sting at the pumps from ever-increasing gas prices.  Gas prices are edging 27% higher than just a year ago and with a slumped economy it is placing an undue strain on all of us that are already being forced to tighten our belts.   I believe New York State should be moving aggressively to suspend the state sales tax portion on gasoline and diesel fuel this summer and ease the burden for everyone by putting some of their hard-earned money back in their pockets."

    Supervisor John Auberger said, "Higher gas prices are straining household budgets in our community.  Senator Robach's proposal will have a positive impact on our economy and provide consumers with relief from the higher prices we are facing across the board as a result of the escalating price of fuel.

    Greece Chamber of Commerce President Jodie Perry said, “The high price of gasoline is affecting businesses of all sizes.  The increased cost of doing business can mean less opportunity to grow and higher prices for consumers on a variety of goods and services.  The Greece Chamber of Commerce supports Senator Robach’s proactive approach to this issue and encourages the quick passage of this bill to provide relief to businesses and consumers alike during the busy summer months.”

    If the State enacts this tax relief plan, New Yorkers would save approximately 33 cents per gallon in state gasoline taxes. Those savings would be increased if the federal government opted to suspend its own taxes on gasoline, which are 18.4 cents per gallon for regular gasoline and 24.4 cents per gallon for diesel, during the same time period.

    Senator Robach also said that the savings plan would reduce gasoline costs to local small businesses, leading to lower prices on consumer goods and services.

    Senator Robach added, “Small businesses are also feeling the pain of high gas prices because they need gas to fuel their delivery vehicles and perform services. These high fuel costs get passed down to consumers in the form of higher prices. Lowering the cost of doing business in New York State will lead to lower prices across the state, including basic necessities like milk, eggs and clothing.”

    This bill was introduced in the Senate this week and is pending in the Committee on Investigations and Government Operations.

    Senator Robach knows firsthand the affect high gas prices have on working men and women.  For this reason, he was also instrumental in capping the state sales tax on gas at $2 per gallon.  The law (Chapter 35 of 2006) caps State sales taxes on gas at 8-cents per gallon and saves New Yorkers as much as $450 million annually at the pump.