New York’s gas tax suspension divides consumers, climate activists

Climate activists have argued that New York State should discourage driving rather than lift the state sales tax on fuel.

Governor Kathy Hochul’s plan to suspend state sales tax on gasoline through the rest of the year was approved with the passage of the FY 2023 state budget. Hochul has affirmed her commitment to covering the estimated $585 million in lost revenue with money from the general fund.

“It’s a dumb decision,” said Alex Beauchamp, the northeast regional director for Food & Water Watch, according to Daily Messenger. “It’s possible that the two biggest climate actions taken in this year’s budget are giving a fracking billionaire close to another billion dollars and suspending this gas tax.”

Other advocates for mass transit agree, having called the June-December gas tax suspension a bad precedent.

Still, for the majority of Upstate New Yorkers, car are the main mode of transportation and some communities do not have a bus service. Some lawmakers have said the sales tax suspension does not go far enough as they wished to see more cents shaved off the price per gallon of gas.

Get the latest headlines delivered to your inbox each morning. Sign up for our Morning Edition to start your day. FL1 on the Go! Download the free App for Android (All Android Devices) or iOS (iPhone, iPad).