Would limit sales tax to 8 cents per gallon

Dutchess County Executive Marc Molinaro on March 24 proposed that, in response to rising fuel costs, the local sales tax charged on gas be temporarily capped at 8 cents per gallon.

Dutchess collects 3.75 percent of each gas purchase, but state law allows counties to use a cents-per-gallon formula. For example, the county now collects 16 cents for each gallon sold at $4.75; that would be capped at 8 cents per gallon.

The county Legislature is expected to consider the proposal, which has support from Republican and Democratic leaders, at its April 11 meeting. Any change would be effective June 1 and expire on Dec. 1, Molinaro said in a statement.

Other surcharges, including a federal tax, state tax, petroleum business tax, state sales tax and commuter tax, would remain unchanged, although state legislators are considering a plan to eliminate tolls during the summer on the state Thruway and/or reduce the 48-cents-per-gallon state tax on gas through the end of the year.

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