As gas tax holidays expire, some lawmakers want something permanent

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Gas pump(WWNY)
Published: Dec. 14, 2022 at 5:42 PM EST
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WATERTOWN, New York (WWNY) - To combat high gas prices, some counties along with New York state, suspended the collection of some tax. One of those gas tax holidays has expired and another will run out at the end of the year.

“It’s scary. I have been shopping around for gas because where I’m at in Adams Center the gas prices haven’t gone down at all,” said Jennifer Crowther as she pumped gas.

At the end of November, prices likely went up in Jefferson County. Up until then, the county wasn’t collecting tax on prices over $3 a gallon. That gas tax holiday ended on November 30.

County Administrator Bob Hagemann hopes it helped drivers.

“The board of legislators was very sincere in wanting to have a positive impact on residents of the county and/or visitors from that standpoint and lower the price of gasoline to allow them a little bit of flexibility to use those savings for other causes,” he said.

After letting it expire, could the county help drivers again?

“Whether or not that will happen again depends on the circumstances of that point in time, but at this point, we’ve done it twice,” said Hagemann.

At the end of December, the state’s tax holiday will expire. The 6-month tax suspension saved drivers 16 cents a gallon. At the start of the new year, that savings ends.

Assemblyman-elect Scott Gray disagrees and says the state should do something permanent.

“Whether it’s $3, $2, $2.50, might be a better number that could be in place on a permanent basis, that anytime it hits that point it should trigger a cap in the gas, in the cost.”

State Assemblyman Mark Walczyk says he’s currently working on legislation that will bring more permanent relief at the pump.

“Every time you pay at the pump, every gallon that you’re putting gas tax in should go directly back into the road. If you are paying any gas tax at all, my proposal says that after $3 a gallon, we eliminate the gas tax entirely,” he said.

The governor’s office wouldn’t tell us if the tax suspension will continue - only saying the governor is deeply committed to helping keep money in New Yorker’s pockets as they continue to face rising costs and inflation during a national affordability crisis.