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Gas prices should ease this week as gas tax cap goes into effect

A woman's hand holds a gray gasoline pump in a vehicle gas tank.

New Yorkers will start to feel a little relief at the pump starting Wednesday, as a cap on gasoline taxes from state and local governments go into effect June 1.

According to AAA, the average price for a gallon of regular grade gas is $4.92. It’s already over $5 a gallon is some areas downstate. So how much will gas prices drop this week?

“The suspension of New York State gas taxes will save New Yorkers about $600 million through the end of the year,” said State Sen. John Mannion (D-Syracuse). “It removes 16 cents per gallon in state taxes from June 1 to Dec. 31, and the state legislature also authorized counties to follow suit.”

That will save motorists about $2 on a 12-gallon fill up. While Memorial Day travelers couldn’t take advantage of the break, it’s starting at a good time, according to Syracuse-area Assemblywoman Pam Hunter.

"It’ll be right in time for summer, so people who have summer plans, summer vacation, they can take this into consideration knowing it’ll be a little cheaper in Onondaga County," said Hunter.

The $600 million in savings for drivers means a loss of revenue for the state, and gas taxes usually pay for road and bridge repairs. But Mannion said New York is in a good position to lose that sales tax revenue right now.

"Inflation is present which means there is a greater tax collected,” he said. “We don’t want that, and we couldn’t anticipate it when we started to draft legislation. But consumers need help, and the state has the money to keep roads and bridges in good shape, and we’ll continue to do that."

On top of the state tax break, many counties across the state are also instituting some kind of gas tax cap, adding to the savings. The state tax break will last through Dec. 1.

A chart of state counties opting in to the "gas holiday" and the sales tax savings.
New York State Comptroller's Office

Ellen produces news reports and features related to events that occur in the greater Syracuse area and throughout Onondaga County. Her reports are heard regularly in regional updates in Morning Edition and All Things Considered.