The New York State Senate has agreed to suspend the gasoline tax for the summer, as the topic continues to be the talk of presidential candidates.
The Republican-sponsored bill would suspend the state's 32-cents-per-gallon gas tax between Memorial Day and Labor Day. The measure passed by a margin of 46-15.
"Higher prices at the pump coupled with higher costs on everyday items like milk, bread and eggs are making it more difficult for middle-class families to make ends meet," said Senate Majority Leader Joseph Bruno (pictured) in a statement.
However, the bill has attracted opposition from the Democratic-led State Assembly, in addition to Governor David Paterson. They argue that the gas tax holiday will only encourage more demand and probably won't result in much of a price drop at the pump. Paterson wants guarantees that oil companies and gas retailers won't pocket the savings.
The topic has attracted attention on the presidential campaign trail in recent weeks, as Sen. Hillary Clinton, D-N.Y., and Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz., have both come out in favor of suspending the federal gas tax of 18.4 cents per gallon for the summer (with Clinton proposing that the loss in revenue be paid for by the oil companies through a windfall profits tax). Sen. Barack Obama, D-Ill., has vociferously opposed the suspension, calling it a "gimmick."
Missouri legislators have passed a bill that would provide drivers with a rebate for the state's gas tax of 17.6 cents per gallon, while Florida Governor Charlie Crist has proposed a two-week reduction of the state gas tax by 10 cents per gallon this July. Texas legislators have also called for gas tax suspensions.
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