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Niagara County passes gas tax relief, Erie County to follow

Posted at 11:28 PM, Apr 25, 2022
and last updated 2022-04-26 10:04:39-04

NIAGARA COUNTY, NY (WKBW) — More gas tax relief is on its way to Niagara County.

A few weeks ago, the state passed a ‘Gas Tax Holiday’ in the budget, meaning on June 1, gas becomes 16 cents cheaper, per gallon, for all New Yorkers until the end of the year.

The state let individual counties decide if they want to follow suit; Niagara County is the first in Western New York to do so.

“We’re trying to help the consumers and, gas tax, it’s just one of the small things we can do,” Niagara County Legislator Christopher Robins said.

In Niagara County gas tax is currently 4%. The county passed the gas tax holiday at a $3.00 cap, which means anytime gas is more than $3.00, you save on the county tax.

The county said this will not impact their budget.

“We can do both,” Niagara County manager Richard Updegrove said. “We can provide relief to the consumer, and we can maintain a fiscally responsible budget.”

Erie county is also looking to suspend its gas tax, minority leader Joe Lorigo said the minority will push for a $2.00 cap.

“I think that’s a reasonable approach,” Lorigo said. “It’s not going to have any effect on the county budget, and I hope it’s something we can all agree on.”

In Erie County, if gas is $4.00, you’re paying twenty cents per gallon in county sales tax.

“It’s a way we can help people when the price of everything is through the roof,” Lorigo said.

Lorigo said he also wants the gas tax relief to be around for the long run.

“Seneca County in New York has had a permanent gas tax cap at $2.00 since 2005 and I think it’s something that Erie County should be looking at,” Lorigo said.

Lorigo said he expects the legislature to vote on the tax relief next Thursday. He said he is confident it will pass, it’s just a matter of the $2.00 or $3.00 cap.