Monroe County will reduce its gas tax, effective June 1

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ROCHESTER N.Y. (WHEC) — Monroe County Executive Adam Bello announced Monday that the county would reduce its gas tax, effective June 1.

Bello’s initial statement used the word "reduce" not "waive’ nor "eliminate", later in the day, he clarified that Monroe County would be reducing its gas tax by eight cents.

New York State Gov. Kathy Hochul previously announced the state is waiving all state gas taxes from June through December of 2022, which will amount to about 16 cents per gallon in savings.

"Monroe County is going to take the most aggressive approach by lowering our gas tax down to the $2 level,” Bello said. “So we are going to take the most aggressive approach to save money which would save on average eight cents per gallon. And when you add that to the state’s sixteen cents we’re going to save 24 cents per gallon effective June 1."

In total, the suspended gas tax will save Monroe County drivers around 24 cents per gallon, a few dollars off the cost of a full tank of gas.

"We think that this could save taxpayers as much as $5 million per quarter," Bello said. "But even with that savings, our county-wide, our sales tax receipts are still well above what was projected so far for this year."

He said the county has outperformed its projections so far.

"Frankly, last year and this year we’re far exceeding where our sales tax projections are," Bello said. "And so instead of just continuing to collect those dollars and more and more as the price, particularly as the price of gas keeps going up, we thought the fair thing to do for our residents was to be as aggressive as the New York state law would allow us to be, to cap that so that we don’t have to overtax our residents."

As of Monday, gas prices in Rochester averaged $4.24 per gallon: $1.40 per gallon more than prices in April 2021.

News10NBC reached out to other Finger Lakes Counties and asked what their plans were.

Ontario County said its Board of Supervisors has not had the opportunity to discuss suspending its gas tax yet, so at this time, the county can not provide a definitive answer.

Wayne County Administrator Rick House sent the following response: "At last week’s finance committee meeting, there was no desire to suspend the county’s portion of gas tax in Wayne. The Board of Supervisors will meet at their monthly meeting tomorrow morning and will discuss further. At this point in time, I do not have a definitive answer to give you. I hope this helps."

Livingston County Administrator Ian Coyle says at this time the Board of Supervisors has no plans to eliminate taxes.

Yates County said at this time, it does not plan on reducing its gas tax.