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Reed open to temporarily suspending fed gas tax

With both New York state and Chautauqua County governments agreeing to a partial sales tax break on gasoline, Rep. Tom Reed says he is open to having the federal government do something similar.

During Reed’s recent phone conference call, The Post-Journal/OBSERVER asked Reed about Chautauqua County’s move. “I’m glad to see the county is listening to people in regards to pressure they are undergoing at the gas pump with the ever escalating prices,” he said.

On Wednesday, the Chautauqua County Legislature passed a resolution capping the sales tax on gas at $3 a gallon. That will run June 1-Dec. 1. Gov. Kathy Hochul has also reduced state gas taxes by 16 cents a gallon during that same time period in the state budget that was recently adopted.

Reed, R-Corning, said there has been talk on the national level about reducing federal fuel tax as well. “I’m open to temporarily suspending that to get through this energy crisis,” he said.

According to Reed, the federal gas tax is 18 cents a gallon. He admits that more needs to be done to address high fuel prices. “That’s not going to be a long-term fix, nor is it going to move the needle tremendously,” he said.

Reed wants to see the Biden administration do more to encourage energy independence in America, especially with the war in Ukraine stopping the import of Russian oil, something Reed has expressed his support for.

“What we need to do, in my humble opinion, is to lead and lean in on developing America’s oil and natural gas resources to send a signal to the market that we are going to be a player and a price maker in regards to the price of oil, which then will significantly reduce the per gallon cost at the pump,” he said.

Reed noted that during the Trump administration, oil prices were much lower and he credits that on the former president’s effort on using America’s natural resources.

“That’s the kind of policy we need to promote in order to get this gas crisis under control,” he said.

After dropping slightly, gas prices have started to climb again. According to AAA, a gallon of regular unleaded gasoline in New York state is currently $4.28 a gallon. One week ago a gallon of gasoline was $4.22 a gallon.

One month ago, gas prices in New York state were on average $4.34 a gallon and one year ago gas prices were $2.92 a gallon. The highest gas prices were ever recorded in the state was on March 10 of this year, when gas prices hit $4.46 a gallon.

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