McKevitt: Agreement Reached On Gas Tax Cap

Agreement comes after a month of intense pressure on Assembly majority to act
May 11, 2006

Assemblyman Tom McKevitt (R,C,I-East Meadow) today announced that the State Assembly and Senate have reached an agreement to cap the state sales tax on gasoline at $2 per gallon as well as take steps towards reducing the cost of home heating and increased availability of alternative fuels.

McKevitt said the agreement is set for a vote next week and is expected to save New York commuters and families an estimated $200 million annually in gas tax relief.

The agreement comes as a result of intense pressure from the Assembly minority and the public to act on providing relief from soaring gas prices.

“My Assembly minority colleagues and I stood with the Senate at the forefront urging the Assembly majority to join our efforts to reduce the overwhelming gas tax burden New York’s families and commuters face on a daily basis,” McKevitt said. “After a month of pressure from motorists, a compromise has been reached and motorists will begin seeing reduced fuel costs as summer nears.”

McKevitt noted that the Senate passed a measure earlier this year to reduce the state gas tax burden. Last month, the Assembly majority defeated an Assembly minority amendment that would have provided immediate relief from soaring gas prices while devising a plan that would have fostered research, development, and use of alternative fuels throughout New York state.

The bill provides immediate relief at the pump by capping the state sales tax at eight cents per gallon, freezing the tax at $2 per gallon rate. Counties would have the option to provide additional savings for motorists, by capping the local share of the sales tax.

If passed, motorists would save at the pump beginning on June 1st.

The agreement also contains additional provisions aimed at reducing the cost of home heating oil as well as taking steps to allow for the use of alternative fuels. They include:

  • Providing a tax credit for the purchase of home heating oil that contains bio-diesel fuel;
  • Provide a tax credit equal to 50 percent, not to exceed $500, related to the purchase and installation of energy efficient home heating systems;
  • Require the New York State Energy Research and Development Authority (NYSERDA) and the Thruway authority to work together to develop a plan for the increased availability of alternative fuels at Thruway rest stops.

“This accord heeds the Assembly minority call by taking some proactive steps towards fostering alternative fuel use and energy efficiency and independence.” McKevitt remarked. “I am hopeful we will continue to work towards a long-term plan for New York’s energy future.”