Morahan Calls On Rockland Gas Retailers To Comply With State And County 'Cents-Per-Gallon' Sales Tax

Thomas P. Morahan

July 12, 2006

After the results of a survey conducted by Rockland County's Office of Consumer Affairs revealed that gas prices at 53 of the county's 79 gas stations had either remained the same or gone up since the new law establishing a maximum level on the amount of State sales tax on gasoline and diesel fuel purchases went into effect a month ago, New York State Senator Thomas P. Morahancontacted the New York State Department of Taxation and Finance to monitor and strictly enforce Tax Cap legislation enacted by the state and county government. The agency today indicated that it has begun to actively investigate compliance to Gas Tax Cap in Rockland.


"The State Department of Taxation informed me today that it will be actively monitoring fuel prices by station, looking for a decrease in the retail price per gallon corresponding to the sales tax reduction. Agents of the Department of Taxation will be seeking to determine if wholesale race price fluctuations in New York are attibutable to product cost fluctuations and to potentially identify whether distributors are failing to pass the sales tax reduction onto wholesalers and retailers. Based on analysis of the data, stations which appear not to be in compliance with the law will be notified by letter of the requirement that the sales tax reduction must be passed on to consumers and that failure to comply may result in a penalty of up to $5,000 per day," said the Senator.

"We instituted this gas sales tax cap in Rockland with the proviso that it would help our residents save money without raising property taxes in the long run," Vanderhoef said. "We greatly appreciate the Senator's efforts and join with him in making sure that the savings reach our residents and don't stay in the pockets of gas retailers who would keep them as profit," said Scott Vanderhoef, Rockland County Executive.

The Tax Department is required under the new law to monitor the "gas tax cap," which was set at $2 per gallon, or eight cents in sales tax legislation which took effect June 1st. Rockland County's survey was taken on June 30th, one day before a Rockland County law eliminating the County portion of sales tax on gasoline above $2 per gallon took effect. Combined with state legislation, Rockland's new laws should lower the price of gas by a total of eight cents per gallon.