Klein asks for a gas tax rebate

Senators Jeff Klein (l) and Eric Adams proposed legislation to help drivers save gas.

With 2.2 million New Yorkers traveling by car this weekend, about 360,000 fewer than last year according to the AAA, and New York gas prices averaging over $4.10 a gallon, Senator Jeff Klein and Senator Eric Adams announced legislation to suspend the tolls on bridges and tunnels in and around New York City and on the Tappan Zee Bridge during major holidays and holiday weekends in order to ease traffic congestion and help drivers save on tolls and gas. In addition, the senators proposed a gas tax rebate based on income with savings up to $200 for middle and working class families.

The first proposal is expected to save motorists up to $50 million in tolls, while the lost revenue to the MTA would be partially offset by a reduction in the salary and overtime costs associated with staffing toll collection booths during major holidays.  Each year, 300 million toll-paying vehicles cross MTA bridges and tunnels, generating $1.251 billion in revenue. Eliminating these tolls for these 12.5 days would result in a revenue reduction of approximately $43-$50 million. 

The measure would also apply to drivers crossing the New York State Thruway Authority’s Tappan Zee Bridge, where studies of replacement alternatives have put peak traffic at 170,000 vehicles per day. Eliminating tolls on major holiday weekends on the Tappan Zee would save drivers approximately $5 million per year.

Klein’s legislation would suspend tolls on the following bridges and tunnels, Tappan Zee ($4.50), Throgs Neck ($10 round-trip), Bronx-Whitestone ($10 round-trip), Verrazano-Narrows ($20 round-trip), Queens Midtown ($10 round-trip), Brooklyn Battery ($10 round-trip), Crossbay ($5 round-trip), Marine Parkway ($5 round-trip), Triborough ($10 round-trip), and Henry Hudson ($5.50 round-trip) during the following holidays: Memorial Day weekend, Independence Day weekend, Labor Day weekend, Thanksgiving Day, Christmas Eve, Christmas Day, and New Years Day.

Similarly, the proposed gas tax rebate would provide much needed relief in the summer driving season. Downstate, families with a motor vehicle registered in the State of New York whose annual income is below $90K would receive a $100 rebate. The rebate would increase to $200 for couples filing jointly with an annual income below $150K.

The rebate would be delivered before September 2, just in time for Labor Day.

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