Berkeley Council Asks For Halt To Gas Tax

Photo by Jason Allentoff

  BERKELEY – The Township Council wants the politicians driving the country to hit the brakes on the gas tax.

  This issue came up during a recent council meeting, where council members shared their own stories of paying at the pump.

  Councilman Keith Buscio asked if there could be a temporary suspension of the federal and state gas taxes until the costs go down again.

  Together, there is about 60 cents per gallon that you pay on these taxes.

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  “When gas goes back down to $2 (a gallon), maybe put it back on,” he said.

  Mayor Carmen Amato said that there is a bill in the State Senate, S-2290, that would provide a credit to offset tax prices. The money would be applied retroactively to the 2021 income taxes.

  Residents filing singly, making less than $125,000, would be eligible to a $250 credit. Couples making less than $250,000 would be eligible to a $500 credit.

Gas Companies Profit

  Gas companies are posting huge profits while drivers are being hit in the wallets.

  According to Reuters, Exxon, for example, was expected to have a record first quarter profit for 2022, with almost $10 billion in profit. Exxon is the largest U.S.-owned oil company.

  BP, Chevron, and other gas companies are also reporting billions in profits, but industry leaders are saying that this might only offset the billions lost over the last two years of the pandemic.

  The prices aren’t just rising here, but across the world, as international gas and oil markets adjust to the war started by Russia.

Driving In Town

  In related news, the Township Council also issued a proclamation in support of the “UDrive. UText. UPay.” program designed to crack down on distracted drivers. When they did this, a crowd in attendance clapped in appreciation.

  The township also went out to bid for a new 4×4 truck for the public works department. They are also looking for contractors to plow snow for the 2023 and 2024 seasons.

Helping Volunteers

  The Township Council is also supporting bill S-1697. This would allow certain volunteer firefighters, rescue, and first aid squad members to claim a $5,000 deductible on their state taxes. The bill has been referred to the Senate Law and Public Safety Committee. It was sponsored by Sen. Christopher Connors (R-9th) and Sen. Kristin Corrado (R-40th). It is cosponsored by Sen. James Holzapfel (R-10th) and Sen. Edward Durr (R-3rd).

  “We’ll do anything we can to attract and retain volunteers,” Mayor Amato said.