New York's gas tax holiday begins Wednesday, nominally cutting the price of a gallon of regular unleaded by 16 cents — but don't assume your gas will necessarily be 16 cents cheaper right away.
An early April budget deal suspended portions of the state's gas tax from June 1 to Dec. 31, a move a numbers of states have made as fuel prices soar to crippling heights.
Gas hit an all-time high of $4.934 a gallon in New York on Wednesday, according to AAA — about 15% higher than when the tax holiday was passed into law.
A spokesman for AAA confirmed that Wednesday's tax cut should show up in statewide average prices Thursday.
But even though taxes will go down, fuel prices have been rising day to day — sometimes sharply — meaning all 16 cents won't necessarily flow to the bottom line.
And even if prices did fall a full 16 cents on Thursday from Wednesday's record, they'd still be 40 cents higher than they were just a month ago.
All of that also depends on stations dropping prices right away as well, which may not be the case. Some stations are still selling gas they purchased before state taxes were waived, and only plan to lower prices when new deliveries of untaxed gas come in.
Lawmakers in Nassau and Suffolk counties said it may take a few days for all gas stations to lower their prices. The head of a gas station trade organization said that they advised members to lower prices but there’s a lot of confusion, although some were eager to celebrate with customers.
"We want to pass on the savings. I mean, the customers have been hurting, buying gas every day," said Ravi Purba, who owns a station on Long Island.
Any drivers who believe a station has not lowered prices can report it to the Department of Consumer Affairs. The tax cuts will stay in effect until the year's end.