Long Island’s State Senate Republicans today led a delegation of Suffolk County officials in calling for the immediate suspension of the state’s 46 cents-per-gallon gas tax to help bring relief from soaring prices at the pump.
“Skyrocketing gas prices impact every part of our residents’ lives and it is critical that New York State provide them with relief as soon as possible," stated Senator Mario R. Mattera. “The gas tax suspension will immediately help our families and our businesses, who are already struggling to recover from the COVID-19 crisis, make ends meet and that must be everyone’s main priority. That is why I am proud to stand with Senator Weik and all my partners in government to say that we need to provide this help now.”
Please click here to view Senator Mattera's remarks from the press conference.
“With gas prices rising every single day, and prices for consumer goods up across the board, Long Island families are desperate for some good news, and our plan will provide some relief right now and throughout the current emergency,” said Senator Alexis Weik, who is cosponsoring legislation for a six-month suspension of the tax. “The state can’t control the price of gas, but here’s a step we can take to help struggling families who are facing higher costs.”
“Temporary suspension of New York’s 46 cents-per-gallon gas tax would provide much-needed relief to Long Island families,” said Senator Phil Boyle. “We call on the Democratic Majorities in the State Senate and Assembly, and Gov. Kathy Hochul, to take this action immediately.”
"Long Islanders are facing an affordability crisis with record high inflation and gas prices eating away at families' budgets at an unprecedented rate. Fortunately, New York State is flush with the state and federal funding needed to fix our deplorable road conditions. This revenue surplus gives us the opportunity to provide immediate relief to struggling Long Islanders while also ensuring that essential repairs to our roads and bridges are made. The time to act is now, suspend the state's gas tax," added Senator Anthony Palumbo.
“ I am so thankful to our state senators for taking the first step to assist our constituents. That is the job of government. Anyone who looks around sees the trouble that our people are in. Daily, I get phone calls about the price of gas. People are putting in a quarter of a tank just to get to work and back, hoping they make it until the next time they have the money. That is horrendous but saving this money on gas is the first step for a level of government to take to assist our people. Democrats and Republicans, please push this through. It is definitely needed to help our people,” stated Suffolk County Legislator Leslie Kennedy (12th Legislative District).
“Today Governor Hochul has to lift that pen and take steps to give relief to all of our residents. Too often, it is said that we talk about things in government, but we show up long after the crisis has been averted. But today, she can take the action and we can begin to see the relief. Nobody can afford to go ahead and be subject to decisions such as whether I’ll go to a doctor or buy some groceries, whether I go ahead and make a fire call or let someone else do it. It is eroding and undermining society as we speak. So today, Governor Hochul has to take that action. Today our federal government has to act. Today, our legislators have to gather, support the legislation and provide the relief our residents need,” added Suffolk County Comptroller John Kennedy.
“Waiving the state gas tax and using some of the 12 million dollars rainy day money would help out our small businesses tremendously,” stated Town of Smithtown Town Clerk Vincent Puleo.
The Senators were joined in their call at a busy gas station near the Long Island Expressway by Republican elected officials from across Suffolk County.
New York’s gas tax is the fifth highest in the country—and nearly twice the national average. Revenues from the gas tax are supposed to be deposited in a special “locked box” and used for highway maintenance and repair, but a new study by State Comptroller Thomas DiNapoli found that just 17 cents of every dollar collected from the tax is used on roadway projects.
Americans, on average, use more than 600 gallons of gas each year, so the Senator’s proposal would result in hundreds of dollars of savings for Long Island families.
The legislation (S.8483) would suspend the gas tax but also would strengthen the requirement that future collections are used as intended for transportation improvements.
Senate Republicans will push or their gas tax suspension proposal to be included in the new State Budget, due April 1st.
Click here to join the effort to provide our residents with a gas tax holiday to protect our families.