Rochester, New York – Monroe County will reduce its gasoline tax starting June 1. “I don’t want people to have to choose between food and a few extra gallons of gas or child care and a full tank of gas,” Monroe County Executive Adam Bello said Monday.
Gas is going for about $4.25 per gallon in the Rochester area, according to Triple AAA.
The county plans to tax gas as if it is just $2 per gallon. So on a $4 gallon of gas, consumers would save 8 cents. “We want our residents here to know we understand the stress the increase in costs is placing on our hardworking families. We see the burden it is causing and Monroe County is going to step up and do everything we are allowed to do under state law to reduce that burden for the hardworking families that call Monroe County home,” Bello said.
The county has brought in more revenue from gas sales tax so far this year than was anticipated, because of the inflated price of gas. This opened the door for the county to cut as much of the gas sales tax as possible. “Instead of continuing to collect, we thought the fair thing would be to be as aggressive as New York state law would allow us to be to cap that so we don’t overtax our residents,” he explained.
According to Bello, the measure drew bipartisan support in the Monroe County Legislature. “While supporters of this bill may disagree on the root causes of high gas and other prices I am proud to work together on how we can help and provide residents with relief from these outrageous prices at the pump,” said Monroe County Legislature Majority Leader Steve Brew.
“This commodity like most generally affects working-class families the most. We are here to celebrate we can give even some relief to our families across the board,” said Monroe County Legislature Minority Leader Yversha Roman.
Steven Carnovale, a business professor at RIT said it likely will not do much to fight inflation overall, while it could take away some of the pinch felt at the punch. “If the cost reductions get passed through every part of the supply chain, then we could see a cost reduction. The question is, how long will that last?” Carnovale said companies in the supply chain will likely look at it as a short-term reduction of cost.
According to Carnovale, cutting the gas tax is like putting a band-aid on a deep cut, but it can bring temporary relief.
“I think it is contingent on a person’s personal circumstance, but a 6 percent reduction is better than a no percent reduction,” he said. “In the short term, you are absolutely going to feel that reduction. The issue, when these types of issues get put forward, is that people get used to the price reductions. And inevitably the price reductions go away, and the price goes back up. Perhaps people haven’t budgeted for it.”
Both the state and the county’s gas tax reductions will be in place from June 1 through December 31.