New York Suspends Gas Tax for Six Months

gas fillup
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New York is temporarily lifting the 16 cents-a-gallon fuel tax for six months as the summer driving season kicks off with record-high pump prices.

Suspending the 16 cents-a-gallon fuel tax for six months would let New Yorkers keep $585 million, according to the legislation.

The bill gives localities the option of waiving their local sales taxes, potentially equating to more savings.

Several states have taken steps to temporarily roll back their gasoline taxes as the cost of fuel has surged past $4 a gallon.

Back in March, lawmakers in Maryland were looking to suspend the state’s 37 cents-per-gallon gas tax for 30 days and Georgia’s House of Representatives has passed a similar measure with the support of Gov. Brian Kemp.

Average gasoline pump prices rose to a fresh record of $4.934 a gallon overnight, according to the latest data from auto club AAA. In New York City, the average is $5.035 a gallon.

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Robust demand and tight supplies point to higher pump prices. Expensive fuel could stall some travel, but Americans are still expected to get out onto the road to make up for trips they missed over the past two years and consume more gasoline than last summer. At the same time, gasoline stockpiles in the Central Atlantic Region, which includes New York, fell to their lowest level for this time of year in records going back to 1998, government data show.

Tax relief may not immediately translate to savings at the pump, according to Jeff Lenard, vice president at the National Association of Convenience Stores. Retailers adjust pump prices based on replacement costs that are subject to swings in wholesale markets. Station owners also need to work through inventories for which they already paid tax, which could take a few days, before offering discounts at the pump, Lenard wrote in a recent article.