Gas tax holiday proposed for state
State Sen. Kevin Parker is proposing tax-free sales of gasoline through the end of the year.
Parker, D-Brooklyn, is proposing a freeze on the taxes imposed on the manufacturing, distribution, storage and sale of gasoline in the state until Dec. 31. Additionally, Parker’s legislation requires that retail sellers reduce the price per gallon of gasoline and diesel fuel by the amount of taxes the seller prepaid and which would have been collected from the consumer. Gas stations would be able to advertise that gas is being sold for the cheaper prices.
The taxes would include sales and use taxes as well as state petroleum business taxes.
“Currently, gas prices at the pump for motor fuel nears $4 per gallon across the state, due to supply chain shortages and tax prices,” Parker wrote in his legislative justification. “Abrupt hikes recently imposed on customer gas utility bills, also for similar reasons, has left many with bill surges four times higher than their previous and usual amount. Subsequently, consumers are left unable to pay their gas bills and overwhelmed with the prospects of long-term debt (Especially problematic as the state struggles with amounting arrears and the payment of such). These prices show little indication that they will decrease without intervention.”
Republican Sen. Fred Akshar of Binghamton has also proposed a fuel tax holiday with S.8483. Akshar proposes to continue the sales tax on motor fuels, which generates $413 million a year, and dedicate one cent per gallon fo ruse in the Highway and Bridge Fund, raising $51 million for the fund. At the same time, Akshar proposes suspending the state’s fuel taxes.
“According to the Tax Foundation, New York currently has the ninth- highest gas tax in the nation at 46.19 cents per gallon. With fuel prices skyrocketing it is essential to temporarily suspend the fuel tax to give hard working New Yorkers some much needed relief at the pump,” Akshar wrote in his legislative justification. “If enacted this legislation would establish a fuel tax holiday and put future fuel tax revenue into a dedicated fund for New York’s roads and bridges.”
New York’s gasoline taxes are the ninty-highest in the country, according to the Tax Foundation, at 46.19 cents per gallon.
Pennsylvania is ranked third in the country at 58.7 cents a gallon. Those statistics don’t include any county sales or use taxes that may be levied on gasoline. Parker’s legislation would allow municipalities to eliminate all taxes on motor and diesel fuel.
Legislation has also been introduced by Sens. Mark Kelly, D-Ariz., and and Maggie Hassan (D-N.H.) to suspend the current 18.4 cents per gallon federal gasoline tax until Jan. 1.
The bill was introduced in mid-February before last week’s spikes in gasoline prices. Similar to Parker’s legislation, Kelly and Hassan propose requiring the savings to be passed on to consumers by requiring the Secretary of the Treasury to monitor the program in order to ensure oil and gas companies pass along the savings at the pump to consumers as well as encouraging the Treasury Secretary to take appropriate enforcement actions to ensure consumers see these savings. The Treasury Department would also be required to make general fund budget transfers to keep the national Highway Trust Fund solvent. Gas taxes fill the Highway Trust Fund.
“Arizonans are paying some of the highest prices for gas we have seen in years and it’s putting a strain on families who need to fill up the tank to get to work and school,” said Senator Kelly. “This bill will lower gas prices by suspending the federal gas tax through the end of the year to help Arizona families struggling with high costs for everything from gas to groceries.”
In addition, Rep. Josh Harder, D-Calif., has been pushing similar legislation in the U.S. House of Representatives, prompting California Gov. Gavin Newsome to propose a gas tax holiday in California, which has the highest gasoline taxes in the nation.