Senator Carl L. Marcellino (R-Syosset) today announced passage of a comprehensive energy plan that would provide motorists with immediate relief from high gasoline prices, ease the impact of skyrocketing home heating costs on senior citizens this winter and address the state’s long term energy needs by encouraging the use of alternative energy and conservation.
The centerpiece of the energy plan is a cap on the State and local sales taxes on gasoline. This plan would save consumers about $90 million this year, and $400 million annually if gas prices remain near $3 per gallon.
"Gas prices are skyrocketing at the pump. Yet, big oil companies, awash in first quarter profits, are continuing to make money from the record gasoline prices that are pinching motorists. This is wrong and something must be done to help the average driver make ends meet," said Senator Marcellino.
The Senate also proposed using the windfall in State sales tax collections, resulting from the increased sales tax receipts on higher priced gas, to provide rebate checks to senior citizens to help offset winter heating costs.
In addition to the cap on gas taxes and the senior heating assistance program, the Senate energy plan includes bills that would:
> Prohibits gas station owners from raising the price of gas more than once a day;
> Provide a tax credit for the production of bio-fuel products;
> Extend tax credits for the purchase of alternative fuel vehicles;
> Extend property tax exemptions for alternative energy facilities; and
> Provide a sales tax exemption on Energy Star products, home insulation and newly installed alternative energy systems.
"By encouraging people to use alternative fuels we are improving the quality of life for all New Yorkers," Senator Marcellino said. "Whether you are worried about skyrocketing prices at the pump, or you are concerned with doing your part to fight the greenhouse effect, alternative fuels are good for your wallet as well as the environment."
The Senate also passed a resolution, asking the federal government to increase funding for the low income Home Energy Assistance Program, based on anticipated higher costs for home heating fuel this winter.