New York State Considers Gas Tax Holiday

Patrick M. Gallivan

May 03, 2011

BUFFALO, N.Y. - With prices still climbing nearly a month before Memorial Day, New York State Lawmakers are considering giving drivers some relief.

"When I left Albany yesterday, the price of gas was $4.13 cents per gallon," complained New York State Assemblyman Dennis Gabryszak.

With elected leaders feeling the squeeze, the state senate next week will consider temporarily suspending the state tax on gas for three upcoming holiday weekends: Memorial Day Weekend, Independence Day Weekend, and Labor Day Weekend.

How much would it save you?

Right now, removing all New York taxes on gas would cut the price by 33 cents per gallon. That is a savings of about $5.00 every time you fill up a 15-gallon tank.

"I think it's a great idea," said New York State Senator Patrick Gallivan (R-Elma). "I would like to see a permanent cut."

When you add the federal gas tax, New York drivers pay the second highest gas tax in the country behind only California.

The problem? New York State is currently broke. The revenue from the gas tax is dedicated to much-needed highway and bridge repairs.

REPORTER: Where are we going to get the money for this? The state is broke?

GALLIVAN: Even though we've already cut 10 billion dollars out of this year's budget, we're still spending in excess of 130 billion dollars. We need to cut spending further. We need to cut taxes further. Somewhere in that $130 billion, I think state agencies can find room to cut even more

Lawmakers predict the gas tax holiday is likely to pass the State Senate. The big question is whether the Assembly would approve it. The chamber is controlled by New York City leaders, whose constituents don't really drive.

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