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Allegany County reduces fuel tax in a 9-3 vote

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The resolution will reduce taxes collected at the pump until September 1

By Andrew Harris

County legislators met today in Belmont for a full board meeting, highlighted by the committee approval last week to cut fuel taxes in Allegany County. That approval required the full board to vote and they did so by an even wider margin than in committee when the vote was 9-5. Read that full story at the end of this article.

Today the motion was made by Mr. Cyr and seconded by Mrs. Hanchett with robust discussion to follow. The first to address the issue was Majority Leader Havey of District 4:

” Citizens are suffering with the inflation we are currently experiencing and this is the only way I can think of at this time to give them any relief so I will be supporting this.”

Debra Root from District 3, was clearly not on board with the tax cut, she called it “a feel good resolution that we as a county may pay for in the long term.”

Mr. Fanton from District 3 lent his support to the tax cut but noted that he hoped that retailers would follow through in the spirit of the resolution and pass the savings on to drivers. Retailers are not obligated to pass the cost savings to the consumers.

Gary Barnes, District 4 legislator voted against the tax cut and is opposed because the high prices of fuel are what has been forced on us by Washington and Albany. He warned this will last for the next 2-3 years and this was a “tiny” measure that won’t really help the price at the pump.

District 3 Legislator Adam Cyr, by all accounts the main driver of this resolution, was pleased with the vote and had this to say:

” I personally am 100% in support of this, this instantly is a way to put 10 or 15 cents per gallon right into the taxpayers hands today.”

Legislator Gretchen Hanchett, who seconded he motion, was also a supporter of this decision and offered this to the committee:

“I believe it may be a small token but it is something we can now do and help our constituents.”

After the two freshmen legislators made statements, Chairman Phil Stockin made clear why he didn’t support the resolution:

“I am a no vote on this because I believe the total dollars that we are apt to lose giving up that tax could be better spent for longer term benefits.”

Stockin, Root, and Barnes(he spelled out “No, N-O”) voted against the tax break. Healy, Burdick, and Harris were absent for the vote.

This resolution reduces the tax until September 1, 2022. The resolution will have to be voted on again to extend the tax cut through the year.

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