For the past several months, gas prices nationwide have been at unsustainable highs. As of May 9, the average price of a gallon of gas in New York State is $4.50 a gallon.
New York State’s government tried to address this issue earlier this year by passing a law cutting 16 cents off the 33-cent-per-gallon existing gas tax temporarily from June 1 to the end of the year. This, although a step in the right direction, is a short-sighted half-measure approach to an issue that is continually straining the wallets of Long Island families.
First of all, this legislation was passed after weeks of New Yorkers paying over $5 a gallon at the pump, and fails to address the inflated cost paid by Long Island families during the period before the cut. This was just the latest and most blatant consequence of inaction in Albany.
Another issue is the arbitrary timeline put forward by New York State; with no way of knowing if these out-of-control prices will go down by the start of 2023, we will likely require new legislation to extend the tax cut if we remain on this course. It took months for lawmakers to get this done, while New Yorkers paid higher prices for gas every day, and we will likely run into this issue again in just a few short months.
Suffolk County’s bipartisan plan to halt the county gas tax on prices over $3 a gallon was a smarter long-term strategy and should be implemented statewide when it comes to New York’s gas tax. It wouldn’t require new legislation every time gas prices skyrocket and would give Suffolk County families immediate relief without having to wait on politicians to get their act together and pass a gas tax cut.
Removing the 33-cent-per-gallon tax entirely after the $3-a-gallon mark, on top of local county relief, could potentially save hundreds of dollars a year for Suffolk County households, who need the money in their pockets now more than ever as we see inflation and cost of living soar at an alarming rate.
Ganley is a Republican and Conservative candidate for New York’s 1st Assembly District — Ed.
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