One-quarter of Ulster gas price is tax, comptroller says

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KINGSTON – Over 25 percent of each gallon of gas you buy to fill up your vehicle in Ulster County goes to local, state and federal taxes. A report from County Comptroller Elliott Auerbach’s office found that 58 cents of each $2 gallon of gas goes to the tax man.  Without the taxes, that same gallon of gas would cost $1.42.
There are five state taxes, one federal excise tax and one county sales tax. Those costs place New York among the highest gas prices in the continental US, said Auerbach.
He said the county sales tax is four percent, or a little under 6 cents of the $2 price. The five state taxes and one federal tax comprise 34 cents and 18 cents respectively.
The comptroller noted that last year, the state comptroller and construction industry groups said some of the state tax revenues did not go to their intended programs. One report in 2015 cited that “only 22 percent of the $3.8 billion collected from highway taxes and fees each year goes to capital road projects, and the rest is diverted to cover state budget costs, mainly debt payments.”
Pump prices are significantly lower in some neighboring states, particularly New Jersey, and that is because of the Garden State’s lower taxes.