Senator John Flanagan (2nd Senate District) is renewing his call for the New York State Assembly to join the Senate in protecting Long Island residents from skyrocketing fuel costs. Specifically, Senator Flanagan is calling for action on a Senate proposal that would protect drivers from the skyrocketing price of gasoline by capping the state and local taxes on gasoline if the price rises above $2 per gallon.
"With the price of gasoline crossing the three dollar mark, the need for relief from these prices is obvious. Long Islanders need and rely heavily on their vehicles for commuting, running errands and transporting their families. Any relief we can supply at the state level should be pursued and I urge the Assembly to join the Senate in doing our part to help our residents get through this period of high prices," stated Senator Flanagan.
This move would save New York consumers an estimated $240 million in annual gasoline taxes. The state savings of the plan would generate approximately $120 million in savings for consumers and the cap covering the local tax share would provide an additional $120 million in savings. The legislation would provide Suffolk County the option to continue taxing motor fuel if they wish to do so.
"There are some who say that even higher gas taxes are called for to force energy conservation. But higher gas costs only lead to higher costs for every item that New York families need and impacts the financial future of our region. We should work to reduce the financial burden Long Island residents face and protect their way of life," added Senator Flanagan.
The Senate also passed legislation that would extend an alternative fuel vehicle tax credit through the end of the current year. The credit would apply to vehicles that use actual alternative fuels such as methanol, ethanol and fully electric vehicles and is estimated to provide over $3 million in tax credits for New York drivers.
Additionally, Senator Flanagan sponsored an elimination of the state sales tax on energy saving materials. The proposal would include items such as high efficiency windows, doors, weather-stripping, pipe sheathing and alternative energy systems in or attached to a building such as wind power or fuel cells.
The legislation would also provide four sales tax free weeks on a variety of energy star products including washers, dryers, refrigerators, dishwashers, furnaces and hot water heaters. The tax free weeks would be spread throughout the year with one occurring during each season of the year and are estimated to save taxpayers $40 million a year.
All the components of this energy plan have passed the Senate and been sent to the Assembly for action.
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