State Republicans want state’s gas tax suspended

Published: Oct. 19, 2021 at 4:32 PM EDT
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ROCHESTER, New York (WWNY) - Republicans are calling on Governor Kathy Hochul to suspend the state’s gas tax as prices climb.

State Senate Republican Leader Robert Ortt made the case in Rochester Tuesday.

Ortt says the average cost for a gallon of gas in the state is $3.46 cents and that’s a 55 percent increase from last year.

Ortt’s pitch to suspend the gas tax comes as many north country people contend with paying the sharply higher prices.

“I can’t really afford to go anywhere, any more. I can only see my grandchildren once a week now,” said Richard Putney, as he pumped gas in Watertown Tuesday afternoon.

“I’m not gonna be able to use my car at all pretty soon. Just to get groceries and that’s it.”

We spoke with two Republican lawmakers who represent the north country in Albany.

“I think if there’s one thing we can do right away that would help people in New York state, especially in my district, is to suspend the gas tax right now,” said Senator Patty Ritchie (R. - 48th District).

“Not only are gas prices in this moment an issue but Democrats in Albany are looking to increase gas taxes to 55 cents per gallon, which is egregious as we try to recover,” said Assemblyman Mark Walczyk (R. - 116th District).

Walczyk is referring to the Climate and Community Investment Act, a bill proposed by Democrats that aims to discourage gasoline use, therefore reducing the state’s carbon footprint.

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