SYRACUSE, N.Y. (NCC News) — Tax breaks on gas both in New York state and in Onondaga County went into effect today.
“Basically what New York state is doing is setting kind of a cap and getting rid of the sales and excise taxes on gasoline now that all of the gasoline fuel prices have really spiked in the last couple of months,” said Valerie Puma, a communication specialist with AAA.
Those state breaks amount to 16 cents per gallon, and last through the end of the year.
Onondaga County taxes gasoline at 4% sales tax, which comes to 12 cents a gallon for gasoline purchased at $3 a gallon. With a cap in place, the sales tax won’t rise beyond that amount, regardless of how high the price of gas rises. The cap will expire Nov. 30, unless county lawmakers extend it
Hakim Morris is a Syracuse resident and like many Central New Yorkers, he’s struggling to adapt to record-high prices.
“I’ve had to get rides from people, get a bike just stuff like that honestly,” Morris said. “Sometimes I even walk.”
According to AAA, a gallon of gas in Syracuse is $4.85 on average. As of Tuesday, the New York state average is $4.93, compared to $3.08 a year ago. The national average price for a gallon of gasoline was $4.62. One year ago, the price was $3.05.
“It’s summer. I wanna go out, but I can’t because gas prices are so high,” Morris said. “I’m on house arrest at this point.”
Morris isn’t alone. Puma said more than 35 million people drove for Memorial Day travel.
“There’s a very pent-up demand for people just wanting to get out of the house,” Puma said. “So having any amount of discount is going to be helpful to motorists, especially with everything we’ve been seeing these last couple of weeks.”
To conserve gas, AAA recommends people map routes, avoid peak traffic times like rush hour and combine errands into one trip while using cruise control when possible. It also recommends drivers make sure tire pressure is at the vehicle’s recommended level for the best gas mileage while removing any unnecessary and bulky items from the car since it takes more fuel to accelerate a heavy vehicle.