News Based on facts, either observed and verified directly by the reporter, or reported and verified from knowledgeable sources.
On June 1, motorists who fill up their gas tanks in Putnam County were slated to enjoy a tax savings, thanks to a reduction in the county’ gasoline tax that was approved by the Putnam Legislature and signed by County Executive MaryEllen Odell.
To ensure gas station owners are passing the savings to drivers, Odell has instructed the Consumer Affairs Department to canvas all stations and track the pricing.
“We believe most gas stations will do the right thing, but we are going to take steps to ensure that every gas station does,” Odell stated. “We take price gouging seriously. The cost of gas these days is literally highway robbery, it’s taking an unprecedented toll on family budgets.”
In April, the Legislature unanimously agreed to limit the county’s sales tax to the first $2 per gallon of the price from June 1 through December 1, meaning motorists will save about 10 cents per gallon.
That savings is in addition to the approximately 15 cents gas tax cut New York State recently approved from June 1 to December 31. The federal government is also considering a 10 cents per gallon reduction.
“Now that it’s summer and kids are home from college and families are driving more, we want to give residents a break,” said Putnam County Legislature Chair Neal Sullivan, who first proposed the tax break to his colleagues. “Inflation is undermining our families’ quality of life. We, in Putnam, are happy to be able to give our residents this gas sales tax holiday.”
Finance Commissioner Bill Carlin expressed concern about the cut, explaining Putnam could loss $1 to $1.5 million in sales tax revenue.
It’s unclear what action Putnam officials will take if any stations are caught price gouging.