Gas prices in New York will be getting a tiny bit less expensive starting today, but it is not for any logical reason like market supply or demand. No, this is a simple case of Albany politicians trying to repeal the laws of economics and curry some favor with strapped drivers just as election time comes around. A little benefit for everyone at the expense of sound and reasonable government.

The state is temporarily dropping its share of the sales tax on gas (17.3 cents/gallon), a not very noticeable boost to wallets, what with average pump prices in New York flirting with five bucks a gallon. It’s a discount of about 3%, running from June 1 to Dec. 31 — then the tax comes back. The tax-free period just doesn’t cover the summer vacation period, when people tend to hit the road and travel more, but also the not-busy travel period after Labor Day through October and beyond non-vacation period.

That, however, happens to coincide quite nicely, wouldn’t you know, with election season, with a primary now scheduled at the end of this month and another one in August and maybe another in September and a definite general election in November. Once the various rounds of voting (exacerbated by Albany pols manipulating the redistricting process) end, back comes the small gas levy.

The money from the gas tax is generally used to fund roads and highways and, very importantly, in New York, mass transit. Not wanting to appear to be robbing straphangers to benefit drivers, the Legislature and Gov. Hochul promise to make up any shortfall, so investment in subways and buses won’t be harmed. So there’s now extra money sitting around for transit? Or is it just handy when needed by pols?

And if there is an available pot of unused money, why didn’t they dole that cash out to people with limited incomes who are really struggling as inflation climbs, instead of the fake populism of a temporary election-timed gas tax cut? The question answers itself.

©2022 New York Daily News. Visit Distributed by Tribune Content Agency, LLC.


This content is published through a licensing agreement with Acquire Media using its NewsEdge technology.

Rating: 3.0/5. From 2 votes.
Please wait...