BUFFALO, N.Y. (WKBW) — The state budget plan now on the table includes a suspension of the state's gas tax; $600 million of the state budget will go towards gas tax relief.
This is expected to save New Yorkers more than half a billion dollars between June 1 and the end of the year.
“This tax relief at the pump is going to go a long way to help working families,” New York State Senator Tim Kennedy said.
If gas is $4.29, only $3.50 of that is the actual price of gas. The state has a $0.30 per gallon gas tax, Erie County's is another $0.20.
“Two to three dollars or more every time you gas up at the pump adds up and it adds up quickly,” Sen. Kennedy said. “That will be realized in the pockets of individuals every time they gas up their vehicles.”
It will be up to each county to follow the state's lead.
Experts said suspending the tax will help but, otherwise, prices are not expected to drop.
“For us, the consumer, I don’t see a lot of relief in sight,” Natalie Simpson from the UB School of Management said.
Simpson said oil companies are in no rush to expand the domestic supply.
“That’s very expensive and what they would rather do is pass the cash to the shareholders now and maintain proper values to their shareholders, which is legal,” Simpson said.
Simpson said she cannot predict when prices might drop; she said it will take time.
“Part of the big prices we’re paying right now is there’s a big chunk of supply that’s no longer available,” Simpson said. “It’s a global market, it doesn’t matter that it was made right here in the US. It’s sold to the world.”