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Essex County to get break on gas price?

ELIZABETHTOWN Some Essex County supervisors want to give their constituents a break on gas taxes, but setting a cap may not work they way they hope. At the April 16 meeting of the finance committee, Chesterfield Supervisor Gerald Morrow proposed a resolution to cap gas taxes at 8 cents. The county currently collects 3.75 cents per gallon on gas sales. That means at $3 per gallon, 11.25 cents goes to the county. Essex County Treasurer Michael Diskin wasnt sure that capping the gas tax at 8 cents approximately the tax on $2 per gallon would have an effect. He said that 10 counties and five cities had already tried it, but motorists hadnt received a savings at the pump. Diskin cited a report by Albany County Comptroller Michael F. Conners, II, which said that the 3 cent savings implemented by Albany County was being used to increase the profit margin of the oil companies. They realized the wholesalers were keeping it up, said Diskin. I dont know if youre going to see the effect you want to. Newcomb Supervisor George Canon concurred, saying there was no way to ensure the tax difference would appear at the pump. Additionally, he said the difference between what the county collects on the gas tax would have to be picked up by property taxes. But Morrow was undeterred, saying he wanted to show that the county was attempting to do something for the taxpayers. Other members of the finance committee agreed. The committee voted to approve the resolution, with Canon voting against the move. The resolution now moves on to the Essex County Ways and Means Committee, which meets April 30. If passed, the tax cap would go into effect on June 1.

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