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County Legislature Approves Lower Gas Sales Tax

Measure could reduce gallon price by eight cents

The Rockland Legislature passed a proposal reducing the local tax rate to re-establishing the county sales tax cap on to the $2 per gallon level.  The measure approved on Tuesday reduces the local tax rate to the state’s capped level of taxation.

“This is consumer-orientated legislation and will alleviate some of the burden forced on our public at the gas pump,” said Legislator Ed Day (R-New City), who introduced the proposal. 

Rockland residents could see a reduction of eight cents per gallon.  Day submitted the proposal in April when gas cost more than $4 in the county.

“I conducted a survey of many local gas stations and found a 50 percent and more downturn in gasoline sales, a clear indication that Rocklanders are driving to New Jersey to fill their tanks,” said Day.  “We don’t collect anything on out-of-state sales.  It is lost revenue.  We needed to re-establish this cap to do our utmost to keep our consumers right here in Rockland.  Saving up to a couple of bucks per fill-up is a good start.”

In July 2006, Legislator Day successfully lobbied for the State sales tax cap on gasoline, and then co-sponsored legislation “opting into” State legislation that capped the County sales tax rate to the $2 per gallon level. 

Tony T October 24, 2011 at 06:14 PM
Maybe I ,,ed it but when does it go into effect??? If I did not miss it how do you print an article like this with out an effect date?
Rockland County Legislator Ed Day October 24, 2011 at 09:32 PM
Hi Tony T - That is because the "effect date" is governed by the State and presumes that the County Executive does not veto it and the override of the veto is done within a certain time. All that said, the very likely effective date should be March 1st, the first day of the next quarter in NYS books.
Stephen J. Reich October 25, 2011 at 12:21 PM
Not sure if it is the right move. If there is sound research that the savings will keep gas sales in the County then I can understand . But I think it will not have that much of an effect due to the State tax. If passed it should only be on a trial basis. The County cannot lose revenue.
Rockland County Legislator Ed Day October 25, 2011 at 12:40 PM
As a matter of fact, the research I submitted (8 years of data from the US EIA) showed definitely that their were significant downturns in local sales when the price rose (and that disparity between prices widened due to the sales tax) and the opposite effect when the price dropped (disparity closed a bit). The other impact of losing business to NJ forces business to close, reduced property tax revenue, layoffs and necessary costs to Social Services, and so forth. Again, we do not collect one penny of tax on any item sold in NJ, an increasing dynamic as we all know. We need to start somewhere in addressing this, and setting the "tax bar" at the identical level to the State of NY (not a high bar to hit given NY's high tax reputation already) is a logical start. But the main point is that this is not about supposedly "losing revenue" - it is about overtaxation and the need for all levels of government to be disciplined.
GWH October 25, 2011 at 03:47 PM
What assurances do we have that these savings will be passed onto us? What incentive does the vendor have not to just pocket the difference? And you're already in a huge deficit. Why would you dig your own hole deeper? And until you can match New Jersey prices penny for penny, people will still travel across the border to get their gas. This is a misguided attempt to grab headlines and bolster Mr. Day's reelection chances.
Rockland County Legislator Ed Day October 25, 2011 at 06:41 PM
Let's be clear; the deficit was caused by a number of ill conceived schemes hatched within the County exec's office - NOT gasoline taxes. As far as "assurances", there are none ... other than the market competition that is part of our free enterprise system. Businesses want to be competitive, and once one lowers the price, others will need to match. Yes, there will always be people who make the choice to travel ti NJ BUT it there are more people doing that when the disparity caused by overtaxation is higher, and less people doing so when the disparity that will come from lower taxes and/or lower fuel prices. And once again, the sorry logic that higher taxes gain more income is belied by the facts as stated earlier. The numbers that supposedly show a "loss" were exposed as sham numbers at the legislative meeting. Once the minutes are posted, you will learn and see that. Or watch it on Cable TV tomorrow night. LINK: http://www.co.rockland.ny.us/Legislature/LMinutes/legmin.htm Finally, you sound like the County Executives press person - given that I have urged moderate taxation on this commodity since I was elected 5 years ago, clearly it is not a sudden attempt to gain attention. Given I have no opponent this year, "bolstering" as you (and he) put it is illogical; and the simple fact is that, unlike the County Exec (and seemingly you) I believe that taxes should be lower not higher, and in this case all we are doing is keeping it at the NYS level, a pretty low bar to grab!
Mary Smith October 25, 2011 at 08:48 PM
Legislator Day, You and your friends in the legislature blame the County Executive for the county's budget issues, etc. Correct me if I am wrong, doesn't the legislative branch approve the budget. If you felt that some of the numbers were unrealistic, why did you not say something at the time to amend the budget. Stop the Monday Morning Quarterbacking!
Rockland County Legislator Ed Day October 25, 2011 at 10:04 PM
Mary: AS one of 17, I do what I can and I welcome your review of my record that clearly indicates I took a number of steps to stop the last 3 years of horrific budgeting being sent over by the executive branch. I called for and supported legislation that called for zero based budgeting, numerous amendments during the budget process (including Tourism under REDC which Scott now is looking to implement except unbelievably keeping CJ Miller's $100K salary while laying off 540 workers), withdrawal from the MTA, repeal of the MTA Mobility tax, exposed the losses at Summit Park and bogus receivables claimed by the executive branch, reassessing of how we fund contract agencies, voting "no" on the $18 million dollar PBC note that the County Exec is unilaterally using to hit you with a $160 assessment (that is equivalent to a 27% tax increase for 2012 by the way), voting "No" on recent budgets because they were problematic, and finally taking the almost unheard of step for a legislator by convincing the State Comptroller to audit our books to help stop the madness ... no small task! Feel free to browse the County legislative website and view my Minority Reports (Feb. 2008 and 2009) and the PBC borrowing scheme from March 15th this year. Please be a regular at our meetings so you can see exactly what is going on in your government. We need concerned and informed citizens to be there. That I welcome more than you can know.
Mary Smith October 25, 2011 at 10:12 PM
Thank you for your invitation!
Rockland County Legislator Ed Day October 25, 2011 at 11:05 PM
Your are quite welcome! Look forward to it. And bring interested friends. We need that involvement in our government! You can always communicate with me directly via e mail at "LegislatorDay@yahoo.com"

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