Could we finally be getting some relief from the pain at the pumps in New York?

Lawmakers are working to drive down soaring prices, for a little while anyway. Senator Patrick M. Gallivan is co-sponsoring legislation to temporarily suspend New York’s gasoline tax as a way to provide some relief from rapidly increasing fuel costs.

“New Yorkers have been struggling under the weight of inflation for months and are now facing some of the highest gas prices ever,” Senator Gallivan said. “Residents and small businesses need a break. The state should use some of its budget surplus to provide relief to drivers in the form of a fuel tax holiday.”

Average gas prices in New York as of Thursday, March 17 were $4.40, higher than the $4.28 National average, according to AAA.

Gas taxes vary per county in New York. Oneida is among the highest at nearly 9% of the combined state, county, and city taxes. Onondaga and Madison counties come in at 8%, according to the Department of Taxation and Finance. Those taxes are what help pay for hundreds of construction and repair projects across the state. Nearly $2.8 billion in gas taxes are generated every year in New York.

The proposed legislation would suspend a portion of that tax from May 1 through December 31, 2022, and authorizes a local opt-in to suspend local sales taxes on gasoline.

The lower prices from suspending these taxes must be passed on to consumers, who will save $648 million.

New York lawmakers aren't the only ones trying to put a pause on the gas tax. Several other states have similar pieces of legislation. There's even a push on the federal level that is gaining momentum among Senate Democrats, according to The Hill.

The proposed legislation in New York heads to the House of Representatives for consideration.

LOOK: See how much gasoline cost the year you started driving

To find out more about how has the price of gas changed throughout the years, Stacker ran the numbers on the cost of a gallon of gasoline for each of the last 84 years. Using data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics (released in April 2020), we analyzed the average price for a gallon of unleaded regular gasoline from 1976 to 2020 along with the Consumer Price Index (CPI) for unleaded regular gasoline from 1937 to 1976, including the absolute and inflation-adjusted prices for each year.

Read on to explore the cost of gas over time and rediscover just how much a gallon was when you first started driving.

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