Contact: Phil Oliva, (518) 455-3756
For Immediate Release:
Tuesday, April 11, 2006

Assembly Minority Offers Bill to Cap Sales Tax on Any Amount Above $2
Majority defeats amendment 77-63

Today, Assembly Minority members offered an amendment to provide a sales tax exemption on motor fuel and diesel fuel on that portion of the receipt that is in excess of $2.00 per gallon. The amendment failed 77-63 with 77 Majority members voting to retain the tax. The cap would have saved motorists $.08-$.10 per gallon. The bill had previously passed in the Senate.

Assembly Minority Leader James Tedisco (R,C,I-Schenectady, Saratoga) said New Yorkers suffer under the highest tax burdens in the nation and that gas taxes are no different. New Yorkers pay $.63 per gallon on average ($.184 federal tax included) the highest rate in the Northeast. Included in the price of a gallon of gasoline are excise taxes, Petroleum Business Taxes, a petroleum testing fee, a spill tax, a federal tax and state and local sales taxes.

Tedisco said capping the sales tax on any amount above $2 was a moderate measure, and a first step, to help motorists. Currently, Tedisco said the state is reaping a windfall from rising gas prices and that some of that money should be returned to taxpayers.

"Everywhere New Yorkers turn they are bombarded with taxes. It's the same old story when they fill their tanks. Their tax pain shouldn't rise correspondingly with the pain they feel with rising oil prices. Unfortunately, most Majority members didn't feel that way today," said Tedisco. "We had the opportunity to deliver relief and even a small amount of relief was rejected. The fact of the matter is that Majority members would rather keep the money in the state coffers than to give some back to the taxpayers and they proved that again today."

Tedisco said a lot more needed to be done in order to lessen gas and energy costs and that his conference would be introducing legislation in the coming weeks designed to reduce gas and energy taxes and costs as well as provide incentives and tax credits for the development and use of alternative and renewable fuels, vehicles and generators.

New York State Assembly
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