STREAMING NOW: Watch Now

Proposed gas tax increase draws criticism

State Senate Republicans have criticized a sweeping climate proposal which could increase the state gas tax by 55 cents per gallon

Posted: Apr 29, 2021 1:05 AM
Updated: Apr 29, 2021 10:49 AM

New York State Senate Republicans on Tuesday criticized a proposed bill which could increase the state’s gas tax, raising prices by as much as 55 cents per gallon. It's a proposal which has also drawn the ire of local business leaders.

“It would be a tremendous hit for everybody in our state, and specifically in our community," said John Collis, the third generation part owner of Fred F. Collis And Sons Heating in Yorkville. "People would have to pay more for the price to heat their home, they would have to pay more to run their vehicles. An average homeowner could probably be seeing several, you know, three $400 increase per year.”

The proposed bill in question is the Climate and Community Investment Act, which advocates say would create over 150,000 jobs in New York state and make large scale investments in renewable energy. It would be paid for by taxing greenhouse gas emissions at $55 per ton, raising over $15 billion per year. But the bill has caused brushback from Democrats and Republicans alike.

“This is an excessive amount of funding that would have to be placed down in regards to a tax," said Democratic Assemblywoman Marianne Buttenschon, D-119. "Another added tax that at this point I do not believe is sustainable.”

Sen. Joe Griffo, R-47, says this will make New York's gas tax more than 57% higher than any other state.

“While we must continue to take action to protect our environment, evidence has shown that New York’s emissions have fallen by as much as 95 percent since 1990,” Sen. Griffo said. “We can continue on this trajectory to reduce our carbon footprint but must remain mindful of the affect that proposals such as this will have on the many New Yorkers who use a vehicle every day and who will be severely punished by this new ‘gas tax.’ This will make it even more expensive to commute to work, bring your children to school, take your family out for a day trip and keep your house warm on a cold night. We should be focused on making New York more affordable and stopping the exodus of people, families and businesses from our state and not making it more difficult for New Yorkers to live and do business here.”

The bill’s advocates cite a rebate for low and middle income residents, saving them from having to pay the tax. They also cite the urgency of the climate crisis, and the need to act now before a point of no return. Assemblywoman Buttenschon agrees with their sentiment, but says moving too fast could cause problems.

“I support a slow and steady progression that looks at more strategic planning, and goals that are benchmarks that are much more significant in the sense of small steps," Buttenschon said.

The bill is currently in legislative committee.

New York Coronavirus Cases

County data is updated nightly.

Cases: 2761545

Reported Deaths: 57695
CountyCasesDeaths
Kings35194510985
Queens32876810428
Suffolk2585103695
Nassau2285103337
Bronx2142426810
New York1780704667
Westchester1491242357
Erie1274102074
Monroe995101257
Richmond934401975
Orange62994944
Onondaga60557823
Rockland55844783
Dutchess38356513
Albany34983417
Oneida33796648
Niagara29420423
Broome28730437
Saratoga25383228
Schenectady19693247
Ulster19396293
Rensselaer17811197
Chautauqua15410197
Oswego14513138
Putnam13290101
St. Lawrence13212146
Chemung13095176
Steuben12858193
Ontario11974121
Jefferson11657108
Wayne10563105
Cattaraugus10254164
Cayuga9902114
Sullivan983090
Genesee8869146
Herkimer8557145
Clinton827948
Fulton7997115
Madison7563109
Warren755996
Tompkins755761
Livingston740277
Montgomery7353163
Washington691380
Tioga651774
Cortland616489
Allegany6146122
Columbia5842115
Chenango567997
Orleans567696
Franklin557826
Otsego553366
Wyoming546367
Greene505890
Delaware457652
Lewis429840
Seneca336069
Essex305938
Schoharie279424
Yates204134
Schuyler198920
Hamilton5253
Unassigned1482
Out of NY0340
Utica
Cloudy
33° wxIcon
Hi: 40° Lo: 26°
Feels Like: 22°
Oneonta
Partly Cloudy
35° wxIcon
Hi: 38° Lo: 26°
Feels Like: 29°
Herkimer
Cloudy
34° wxIcon
Hi: 41° Lo: 26°
Feels Like: 25°
Old Forge
Cloudy
33° wxIcon
Hi: 32° Lo: 13°
Feels Like: 22°
WKTV Radar
WKTV Temperatures
WKTV Severe Weather
2022 WKTV Golf Card only $99.99
Game Day Deals - New Deals Each Week
Stuff the Bus Locations
Saluting Those Who Are Proud 2 Serve