State Senate Passes Gasoline Tax "Holiday" Bill
Don't Look To Save At The Pump Any Time Soon
This is an election year, after all, and the pols -- especially up in Albany -- don't want us to forget it.
And so, the State Senate, willing to do and say virtually anything to keep that chamber in GOP hands, has picked up where John McCain and Hillary Clinton left off -- the faux relief of a gasoline tax holiday.
Passed by the Senate, the "holiday" -- said to cut about 35 cents per gallon, attributable to State taxes -- is more like one of those Chevy Chase misadventures than a summer on the French Riviera.
The State cuts the tax (which is paid by the oil companies). The oil companies pocket the 35 cents per gallon (adding to their profits). The comsumer continues to pay the same price at the pump (until the so-called "holiday" comes to an end in the fall, at which time big oil will, no doubt, simply add that 35 cents on top of what they were already gouging you for before the "holiday" went into effect).
A wonderful -- and typical -- political ploy, yet signifying absolutely nothing that would actually benefit the consumer.
Anyway, the State Assembly, under the thumb of Speaker Silver, is not likely to go along with the Senate's plan, so about as much chance of this State gas tax holiday passing as there is in Exxon/Mobil disgorging $10 billion in profits and donating same to Make-A-Wish.
Would that such tax "relief" came to be, and suffer still the consumer, not only at the pump, but on the road, where that tax money that would otherwise have gone for maintenance, repairs, and improvements of highways, bridges, and public transportation goes instead to Exxon, Shell, and the Saudis.
Of course, they could always raise the tolls or increase mass transit fares to make up the shortfall.
Oh wait. They plan on doing that, regardless.
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NY Republicans' bid for gas tax `holiday' sputters
ALBANY, N.Y. -
Republicans in the New York Senate and Assembly say cutting the local, state and federal taxes on gasoline could save up to $10 per fill-up during their proposed "summer holiday" from gas taxes.
But many political and economic obstacles stand in the way of the election-year proposal.
Democratic Gov. David Paterson says he won't reject the push by Senate Republican leader Joseph Bruno and Assembly Republican leader James Tedisco. But he says there's no guarantee gasoline suppliers and retailers wouldn't simply jack up the price even if the taxes are eliminated over the summer.
Paterson also questioned if the state can afford the loss of millions of dollars in revenue after years of spending too much and in the face of historic deficits.
Paterson said it's a "leap of faith" that prices at the pump would be cut by the amount of the taxes without some pledge by the industry.
"This is something we could legislate, but not implement," he said. He also said the state can't afford the revenue loss if there no guaranteed cut in gas prices because he predicts state deficits of up to $20 billion over the next three years.
But Bruno said the cut in the state, local and federal tax - or even just cutting the state tax - would likely pay for itself. He said New Yorkers would have more money to spend on groceries and clothes and that the cut could entice more tourism.
He said a summer without gas taxes could save $7.20 to fill-up a car or $10 to fill-up a sport utility vehicle or truck. Gas prices are expected to hit $4 a gallon and more this summer.
"That's the objective here, to stimulate the economy," Bruno said.
The state tax is 32.8 cents per gallon, the federal tax is 18.4 cents and the local tax is 13.9 cents.
If all taxes were suspended from Memorial Day to Labor Day, New Yorkers would see about a 65-cent cut in price to $3.93 per gallon, instead of $4.58 per gallon, said Bruno, a Rensselaer County Republican.
"High gas prices have a negative multiplier effect, driving up the cost of everyday goods," said Tedisco, a Schenectady Republican. "The fastest way to put the brakes on rising fuel, food and other commodity costs is by instituting a much-needed holiday from the state fuel taxes for motorists and businesses."
Democratic Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver said the "Republicans are trying to hide from the failures of the Bush administration."
"I believe that oil companies will simply raise their prices to eliminate any cost savings," Silver said. He said the Republicans should call the Bush administration and demand action to solve the problem.
Copyright 2008 The Associated Press