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Senate bill could increase gasoline tax in New York by 55 cents per gallon

The Climate And Community Investment Act (S.4264A) has the support of 23 members of state Senate.

That bill, which was introduced by Sen. Kevin Parker, a Brooklyn Democratic, was officially assigned to the Environmental Conservation Committee on March 22 and could have a devastating impact on travel in New York.

It would ultimately impose a $55 per ton carbon tax on fossil fuel emissions in New York. It would not discriminate on source, either, including schools, factories, and on the overall use of gasoline.

Environmental advocates have said that carbon taxes are going to be necessary to move people away from traditional fossil fuel consumption. However, opponents of the legislation said it would cost devastate the economy.

Heating a home with natural gas could result in a 26% increase in cost if the proposal is signed into law and the cost of gasoline to fuel vehicles would increase by a whopping 55 cents.

State Sen. James Gaughran, a Democrat, spoke during a recent hearing on the matter- noting that his district is particularly automobile-reliant. “I’d like to see a provision that makes it really clear, particularly for people who are driving automobiles and they have to drive so many miles – there are people who will drive 20,000 miles a year just for commuting purposes only in my district. Let’s come up with a salary,” he explained. “Let’s figure out what the maximum salary is to qualify for it and then give these folks an exemption so that they’re not unduly subsidizing this program. We can tailor some sort of a rebate program specifically for people like that as it relates to automobile users who have no alternatives at this time.”

A rebate was suggested, which would give approximately 60% of households escape from the tax. That said, business advocates say that people who aren’t eligible for the rebate under the system would have to absorb a massive cost-increase.