Dutchess inflated by fuel tax exemption
Motorists filling up in Dutchess County could soon save pennies off the cost of each gallon under a plan proposed by County Executive Marc Molinaro and County Legislature Speaker Gregg Spray. Molinaro and Pulver announced that they are proposing a resolution in the County Legislature to approve a temporary change to how county sales tax is calculated on retail gasoline and diesel fuel sales.
The way sales tax is now structured, customers pay 3.75% of fuel purchases as county sales tax. As the cost of a gallon increases, the amount of sales tax the county collects also increases. The idea is to change this so that the amount the county collects in sales tax is capped at eight cents per gallon.
“We recognize that this relief is limited, but we need to do what we can to help families, farmers and small businesses who are being crushed by rising costs,” Molinaro said. “By reducing and capping the county gas tax, we can help and I encourage my colleagues to embrace this proposal.”
Under New York State law, counties have the option of charging a percentage rate or a cents per gallon rate. Counties do not have the ability to exempt retail gasoline or diesel fuel purchases from local sales tax under New York State law.
The plan calls for Dutchess to move from the percentage rate of 3.75% to a cents-per-gallon rate that’s roughly equivalent to what 3.75% would be charged if fuel cost $2 a gallon.
Pulver said: “Our country is currently experiencing inflation the likes of which we have not seen in about 40 years, including recent spikes at the pumps. County Executive Molinaro and I strongly believe in reducing and capping the County Fuel Tax to help families in Dutchess County during these difficult economic times.
The county legislature was scheduled to vote on the resolution at its April 11 board meeting, and the new sales tax cap would go into effect June 1, 2022, pending approval from the tax commissioner and to the finances of the State of New York. The calculation of the gasoline and diesel tax would return to the old one on December 1, 2022.
Molinaro and Pulver point out that the county sales tax is one of many taxes and fees imposed by states and the federal government on retail sales of gasoline and diesel purchases. Others include federal tax, state excise tax, an oil company tax, state sales tax which also includes metropolitan commuter transportation district tax, and local sales tax .
The proposal to cut the Dutchess fuel tax won bipartisan support from lawmakers.
Yvette Valdés Smith, Democratic Minority Leader in the Legislative Assembly, said: “We recognize that this is a small but important first step and we are committed to continuing to look for ways to help residents that we serve.
Republican Leader Will Truitt said: “Unlike the failures of leaders at other levels of government that have recently led to the exponential rise in gasoline and diesel prices, locally we continue to take action to bring a relief. I look forward to its enactment so our neighbors across the county can keep more of their hard-earned money.