Putnam Will Cut Gas Tax

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Applies to first $2 per gallon 

At a special meeting in Carmel on Monday (April 25), members of the Putnam Legislature unanimously agreed to reduce the county sales tax on gasoline by limiting it to the first $2 per gallon.

The rollback, which affects diesel, too, takes effect June 1 and ends Dec. 1. Putnam charges a 4 percent tax on gas sales.

New York State recently cut its gas tax by 16 cents a gallon from June 1 to Dec. 31, and Dutchess County dropped its tax from 3.75 percent of the sale to 8 cents per gallon from June 1 to Dec. 1.

At an Audit Committee session that preceded the meeting, Neal Sullivan, who represents Carmel-Mahopac and chairs the Putnam Legislature, said that Putnam’s reduction amounts to about 10 cents a gallon. With the state rollback and a possible federal cut, he said that drivers could save 35 cents to 40 cents a gallon. “I’m glad we’re all united on this,” he said. “I think it will be a good thing.” 

As of Monday, according to federal records, the average price of a gallon of gas in New York was $4.21 and the national average was $4.10. 

Finance Commissioner Bill Carlin said Putnam could see a decline of $1 million to $1.5 million in sales-tax revenue from the reduction. Moreover, “we’re going to be short this year in just about everything, across the board, due to inflation.” 

Putnam’s 2021 sales tax revenue exceeded expectations by $17.6 million, according to information provided to the Audit Committee. The data also showed that the county received over $2 million more sales tax than projected for the first quarter of 2022.

Because of rising fuel prices, the county is “collecting a lot more from the gas tax than we ever budgeted for, or even expected,” Sullivan noted.

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