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Gas Tax Should Be Flat, Says Queens Lawmaker

One bill would alter city gas taxes, while another would require station owners to post varying prices for cash or credit card.

State Sen. Tony Avella, D-Bayside, says he is renewing his push for the state legislature to pass a bill that would require the city to change its method for taxing gasoline and diesel.

Earlier this year, the senator introduced legislation that would require the city to compute its sales and compensating use tax for gas and diesel fuels at a flat Qucents-per-gallon rate rather than at the existing percentage-per-gallon rate.

New Yorkers are currently taxed eight cents per gallon for retail gas sales. Avella says this flat rate remains constant, despite fluctuations in gas prices. 

“With gas prices constantly fluctuating, it is important that motorists have protections in place at the pump,” the senator said. “The city needs to institute a flat gas tax because not only are consumers being gouged by the base prices of oil, but they are also being gouged by the city of New York in its percentage rate collection.”

He said the city is receiving “undeserved windfall tax revenue” from commuters.

The city charges consumers a percentage of the price per gallon of gas on top of the state’s sales tax.

Avella has also introduced a bill that would require gas stations to advertise the cost differential for people who pay with credit and debit cards on all billboards and signs, rather than just at the pump.

State law prohibits gas station owners from charging consumers a surcharge for using a credit card, but they are not forbidden from providing a discount to drivers paying in cash.

“Even while gas prices continue to rise, gas stations are engaging in deceptive advertising by listing the lower cash prices on their street-view signage without disclosing that the price was only for cash transactions, resulting in motorists being lured to the pumps only to find out that if they choose to use a credit card, they will be charged a higher price,” Avella said.

Do you think the city overcharges in gas taxes? Let us know in the comments.

deb hochman October 26, 2012 at 08:03 AM
Yes it is too high. You only get 6 gallons for a huge amount of cash.

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