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Sandy: New York Suspends Tax Provisions for Fuel


As recovery from Hurricane Sandy continues, residents in New York and New Jersey are dealing with more than damage from the storm. They are also dealing with a fuel shortage, the likes of which hasn't been seen in this country since the 1970s. A line at a gas station in the Bronx reportedly stretched three miles over the weekend, and tempers of those waiting flared. 

The government is doing what it can to help the situation. New York Governor Andrew M. Cuomo issued an Executive Order on November 1 that allows "the free flow of motor fuel and diesel motor fuel into New York State."

Pursuant to Executive Order Number 54, the following sections of New York Tax Law are suspended until further notice:

  • Sections 282, 283, and 302, regarding importers of motor fuel or diesel motor fuel;
  • Section 283-a, regarding the registration of importing or exporting transporters;
  • Sections 285 and 285-a, regarding persons not registered to distribute motor fuel;
  • Section 285-b, regarding persons not registered to distribute diesel motor fuel;
  • Sections 286, 286-a, and 286-b, regarding the transportation of diesel motor fuel and motor fuel into or out of New York by persons not registered to distribute this fuel;
  • Section 1134, regarding the certificate of authority unregistered distributors must obtain.

Sales Taxes, Excise Taxes, and Petroleum Business Taxes

Unregistered distributors allowed by executive order to distribute motor fuel and diesel motor fuel must "remit the applicable taxes for each gallon of motor fuel sold or used in New York State." These include:

These taxes should be passed on to the customers at the following aggregate rates:

Fuel Type 12-A 13-A Prepaid Sales Tax Aggregate Rate
Motor Fuel $0.0805 $0.178 $0.1475 $0.406
Highway Diesel Motor Fuel $0.08 $0.1605 $0.1475 $0.388

These tax returns and payments would not be due before December 20, 2012.

Fuel shortages have even inspired some rather unorthodox ads to crop up on the Casual Encounters section of Craigslist, according to the Huffington Post. It's astounding what people are willing to barter for fuel.

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Gail Cole
Avalara Author
Gail Cole
Gail Cole
Avalara Author Gail Cole
Gail began researching and writing about sales tax in 2012 and has been fascinated with it ever since. She has a penchant for uncovering unusual tax facts, and endeavors to make complex sales tax laws more digestible for both experts and laypeople.