Should NJ drivers cross the New York border to buy gas?

While the New Jersey government has done nothing to give drivers a break as gas prices head towards $5 a gallon, New York State is launching its gas tax holiday .

As part of the state budget, New York is suspending a 16-cent gasoline tax from June 1 through the end of the year.

Is it worth crossing the border to fill up? Maybe.

It certainly won’t make gas cheaper if you’re trying to fill up in Manhattan, where the average price is already $5.40 a gallon. You’ll also want to avoid Staten Island and Long Island, where average prices are around $5 a gallon.

However, if you take the Garden State Parkway or Route 287 across our state’s northern border into Rockland County, NY, you might find a bargain.

A little further north you can drive through Orange County, New York, where gas prices could drop below $4.75 a gallon.

However, when you factor in the amount of gas needed to get there and back, your actual savings might be minimal.

There is, however, a bit of cross-border jealousy when you consider how much New Jersey drivers could save if we followed New York’s lead.

Sen. Shirley Turner, D-Mercer, is sponsoring legislation that would give drivers a 60-day gas tax holiday in New Jersey. His proposal would drop the state gasoline tax by 27.9 cents from 42.4 cents to 14.5 cents.

If Turner’s legislation were enacted, it would drive our current gas prices below $4.50 a gallon.

Governor Phil Murphy does not support the legislation and says any gas tax holiday should come from the federal government.

Of the multiple proposals presented by lawmakers for gas price relief, Murphy voiced public support for just one.

Senator Edward Durr, R-Gloucester, would offer residents direct rebates of between $250 and $500.

Murphy called Durr’s proposal “worthy of debate” when asked about it in March.

None of the current proposals have been scheduled for action in the Senate or Assembly.

On Wednesday, AAA reported that the average gasoline price in New Jersey was $4.77 for a gallon of regular gasoline. This matches the record set on May 20.

Eric Scott is the senior policy director and anchor of New Jersey 101.5. You can reach him at [email protected]

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