BUFFALO, N.Y. (WKBW) — Starting on June 1st, gas prices are expected to drop considerably thanks to moves from both the New York State government and the Erie County legislature.
Here's what you need to know:
- April 9th - NY Governor Kathy Hochul included a "Gas Tax Holiday" in her approved 2022 NYS Budget.
- The NYS budget holiday slashes taxes, creating a $0.16 per gallon reduction in prices.
- See our previous reporting on the New York State tax holiday from 7 News' Natalie Fahmy here.
- April 25th - Niagara County Manager Richard Updegrove & the Niagara County legislature pass holiday.
- Niagara County passes a gas tax "cutoff" at the $3.00 threshold. That means that you will only be charged taxes on any gas that is above the $3.00 price tag.
- See our previous reporting on the Niagara County's tax holiday from 7 News' Natalie Fahmy here.
- April 29th, Erie County Executive Mark Poloncarz & the Erie County Legislature approve localized "holiday."
- Erie County passes gas tax "cutoff" at $2.00 threshold. This holds the same effect at a lower price as Niagara County. Savings in Erie County will amount to around $0.11 per gallon.
If you decide to purchase gas in Erie County after June 1st, expect to save anywhere from $0.25-$0.30 per gallon.
For an average 15 gallon gas tank - those savings equate to nearly $1.50.
"With all the inflation we are experiencing regularly, this is the only option. Every cent counts so much," said Joe Lorigo, the Minority Leader of the Erie County Legislature.
Lorigo and his minority caucus in the Erie County Legislature are continually working to make the gas tax holiday permanent. At this time it is set to expire in February 2022.
The statewide relief expires at the end of 2021.
"This is money that is going right back into Western New York, right back into people's pockets. The savings are something we need right now," said Lorigo.
Erie County collects approximately $1,400,000 each month from gas taxes, according to the County Comptroller's office.
"That money is going to a lot of things, and we need that money," said Kevin Hardwick, the Erie County Comptroller.
Hardwick outlines three main reasons why he is frustrated with the gas tax holiday, and why he believes it should be left to expire in February 2022:
- "These funds are going right into your community. First off, about $800,000 is going right into Erie County. The other $600,000 is headed to our cities, towns, and villages, as well as school districts."
- "The gas tax savings is something that everyone benefits from, even those who aren't from Erie County. A lot of the money we bring in comes from our neighbors in Canada, or from tourists coming to Western New York. That money is now gone."
- "The money collected goes to the general fund. That means for police, the health department, and more. Money that needs to come from somewhere, and you may see taxes elsewhere increase to compensate."
"I'm not worried now. I'm worried about what happens years down the road," Hardwick added.
The vote to approve or deny a permanent gas tax holiday is expected to occur in the Erie County Legislature by mid-summer.