Senator Golden And Senate Colleagues To Stop Spitzer Budget Scheme To Raise Gas

Martin J. Golden

April 01, 2008

Brooklyn- State Senator Marty Golden and New York State Senate Majority today announced it will oppose a budget scheme advanced by Governor Spitzer that would eliminate the sales tax cap on gasoline and result in higher prices at the pump for every New York driver.

Under the proposal, the Governor would do away with the gas tax cap enacted in 2006 on any State sales tax over $2 by consolidating the tax into the Petroleum Business Tax (PBT), and would increase gasoline taxes by nearly $56 million annually.

The Senate Majority and Senator Golden were instrumental in advocating and winning passage of the gas tax cap two years ago. The cap was passed in the Assembly and signed into law by Governor Pataki, and saved New Yorkers more of their hard-earned money at the pump.

"Everytime you drive pass a gas station, you find yourself read the prices to find out how much gas has gone up per gallon since the day or before. Clearly, New Yorkers are hurting from the high cost of gasoline, and despite the fact that the state sales tax is the only portion of the gas price we can control, Governor Spitzer wants to force commuters to pay even higher gas taxes every time they fill up their cars. We will stop the Governor’s plan to increase gas taxes and prevent it from becoming a part of the final Budget," said Senator Marty Golden.

Golden continued. "The governor's budget will raise the cost of gasoline and that's a fact. It takes more money from the family budget and the last thing the working families I represent need are higher taxes on the exorbitant gas prices they're now paying. People are hurting and, instead of proposing relief, the governor is prescribing more pain at the pumps."

Under the legislation put forward by the Governor, the Petroleum Business Tax (PBT), the Motor Fuel Excise Tax and the sales tax on fuel would be combined under the PBT. The previous cap on Sales and the fixed rate Motor Fuel tax would be indexed just as the existing PBT is indexed. The State Budget Division estimates that the larger index base will increase State fuel taxes by $55.9 million in 2009-10. Streamlining the administration of fuel taxes is a laudable goal, but not if it results in higher taxes.

Despite his public pledge not to raise taxes, these two onerous fees are among $1.7 billion in tax and fee increases advanced by the Governor in his 2008-09 Executive Budget. The Senate Majority has opposed the Governor’s efforts to raise taxes on New Yorkers.