ERIE.GOV | Your information resource from the government of Erie County, New York

County Executive Elected Officials County Departments Living In Erie County Visiting Erie County Growing your business in Erie County State and regional municipalities

Comptroller Mychajliw Releases Report on Gas Prices



Legislator Ted Morton proposes a sales tax cap on gas


(Buffalo, New York) – Erie County Comptroller Stefan I. Mychajliw released a report to the public and the Erie County Legislature that explained in detail the true cost of a gallon of gasoline in Erie County.  The Comptroller’s Office prepared the report at the request of Erie County Legislator Ted B. Morton, who chairs the Legislature’s Energy and Environment Committee.  Legislator Morton has been a very vocal taxpayer’s advocate on the subject of lower gas prices.

The amount of taxes and fees vary depending on the price of a gallon of gasoline, because some fees are a fixed amount per gallon, and some taxes are a percentage of the sale.  On average, over the last year, consumers in Erie County have paid $0.66 per gallon in taxes and fees.  “People pay nearly $10 to the government every time they fill up their tank.  If that’s not outrageous enough, New York State charges them tax on the tax they are already paying,” said Comptroller Mychajliw. 

Total Taxes and Fees per Gallon Include:

                             TAXES                                                      Cents per Gallon/%

Federal Excise Tax


New York State Excise Tax


New York State Petroleum Business Tax


New York State Spill Tax


New York State Petroleum Testing Fee


New York State Sales Tax


Erie County Sales Tax


 The Comptroller’s report addressed the relationship between declining gas prices and revenue for the county budget.  “As gas prices drop, so does the county’s sales tax revenue, which could create a budget shortfall,” said Comptroller Mychajliw.  As the market is driving gas prices down, the Comptroller argues that this is the time for the Administration and Legislators to immediately cut spending.  “As a county, we rely too heavily on sales tax as a revenue stream.  Millions of that revenue is derived from sales tax collected on gas.  As the price drops, we know revenue is dropping with it.  Politicians need to tighten their belts now.  It only makes sense to decrease our spending,” said Comptroller Mychajliw.

Erie County Legislator Ted Morton joined the Comptroller for the release of his report, and shared his own announcement.  “This afternoon I will clock in a resolution calling for the Legislature to cap the sales tax on gasoline.  I feel strongly that it is always a good time to propose a tax decrease.  In this case, the best time to propose one on gasoline is while the price is already low, and the county isn’t realizing as much revenue anyways,” said Legislator Morton.  “As leaders, we shouldn’t adopt a budget and spending strategy that assumes gas prices will always be artificially high.  While they are low, and revenues are down, we should cut spending to reflect that.  If we can cut spending and cap taxes at the same time; that is a win, win for taxpayers,” continued Legislator Morton.

Weighing in on the Legislators proposal, Comptroller Mychajliw added “I applaud Legislator Morton for seeking to save taxpayers money at the pump.  However, I caution his colleagues that this cannot be a cheap political stunt.  If they cap the tax on gas, they should also put a cap on county spending.  This ensures we don’t have a hole in the budget.”

The Comptroller’s report also analyzed the potential impact a cap on the sales tax would have on the county budget.  The report is now before the Legislators for their review, as they consider Legislator Morton’s proposal.