SCHENECTADY, N.Y. (NEWS10) – The Schenectady County Legislature unanimously passed a resolution Monday night to cap its tax on fuel starting June 1st. The cap is expected to provide an estimated savings of 8 cents per gallon.
“It’s an important relief measure for our residents. There are a lot of folks struggling right now to get by, and this is one way that we can help,” said Michelle Ostrelich, a legislator representing District 3.
The resolution allows the county to change the way it taxes fuel. Instead of taxing the total sale of filling up, only the first $2 of each gallon will be subject to county tax.
This resolution comes as gas prices in the Capital Region creeped higher again this past week, ending a streak of falling costs. According to GasBuddy, the average cost of fuel in Albany jumped over a nickel in the past week, and is $1.31 more than this time last year.
The state’s suspension on gas tax, which was approved in the budget, will also begin on June 1st. Together with this resolution, those filling up in Schenectady County could see 24 cents in savings, relief at the pump legislator’s personalized ahead of Monday’s vote.
“I used the example during the meeting of the nurse in Duanesburg, she’s driving round trip 42 miles to her job at the hospital in Schenectady. She’s doing it 5 days a week, that’s a significant cost,” said Gary Hughes, the legislature’s majority leader.
The relief could cost $1.3 million in sales tax revenue, a gap legislators say the county can account for.
“We’re not overly concerned about that. We’re more concerned about people getting paycheck to paycheck and having enough money in their budget to keep food on the table,” Hughes explained.
The cap on the local gas tax in Schenectady County will run from June 1st until the end of next February.
Meanwhile, the state’s suspension on gas tax, which is expected to save 16 cents a gallon when filling up, will expire at the end of the year.