As if gas prices weren't high enough and rising weekly, New York State is now proposing an increased gas tax on consumers. Not only would the Senate proposed tax increase prices at the pump, it would also impact home heating bills.

Senator Joe Griffo announced his opposition to the Senate proposed bill on Tuesday saying,

The proposal - Senate Bill S4264 - could ultimately lead to gas prices rising by as much as 55 cents per gallon and home heating costs increasing by more than 25 percent.

The taxes on fuel are already high in New York State. In fact, Senator Griffo points to the Tax Foundation which currently has New York has the 7th highest gas tax in the nation at 43.12 cents per gallon. That same foundation has California as the highest taxed gas in the country with 62.47 cents per gallon.

Senator Griffo acknowledges the need to make sure we do all we can to protect the environment, but he argues emissions in the Empire State have fallen 95% since 1990. Griffo says,

We can continue on this trajectory to reduce our carbon footprint but must remain mindful of the affect that proposals such as this will have on the many New Yorkers who use a vehicle every day and who will be severely punished by this new ‘gas tax.’ This will make it even more expensive to commute to work, bring your children to school, take your family out for a day trip and keep your house warm on a cold night. We should be focused on making New York more affordable and stopping the exodus of people, families and businesses from our state and not making it more difficult for New Yorkers to live and do business here.

There is no question this new tax is an attempt to try and make up for the insane budget shortfall, but it's likely a push to get people to move away from using fossil fuels. For those in rural areas, home heating fuels are the only source of heat and taxing them into oblivion is not fair.

If the legislation passes, it would increase the gas tax to a whopping 98.12 cents per gallon. Griffo says that would be a 127% increase and 57% higher than any other state in the nation. If this isn't a case for a need for balance of power in the state legislature, I do not know what else is. Be prepared, this has a good chance of passing and that means the consumer will be the hardest hit.

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