In response to skyrocketing gas prices, Long Island lawmakers and fed-up Long Island drivers a called on Nassau County Executive Bruce Blakeman and Suffolk County Executive Steve Bellone to do the right thing and cut the county taxes on gas. This follows historic action taken by the State Legislature and Governor last week to relieve the pain at the pump by suspending State gas taxes and giving County governments the authority to do so as well.
The Long Island Majority Delegation to the State Legislature, including Senator Anna M. Kaplan, Senator John Brooks, Senator Jim Gaughran, Senator Kevin Thomas, Senator Todd Kaminsky, Assemblymember Chuck Lavine, Assemblymember Gina Sillitti, Assemblymember Michaelle Solages, Assemblymember Judy Griffin, and Assemblymember Taylor Darling, fought for, and successfully secured, a measure in the recently passed State budget that cuts the State gas tax by 16 cent per gallon. This historic action will give Long Islanders much-needed relief at the pump as recent spikes in gas prices have made driving in New York less and less affordable. The measure also made it possible for counties and other localities to reduce the amount of sales tax they collect on gasoline. If the counties follow the State’s lead and take advantage of this option, drivers will save approximately 25 cents per gallon total based on the current average price of a gallon of gas.
Senator Anna M. Kaplan said “The pain at the pump is real, and we need to do whatever we can to help Long Islanders fill up without breaking the bank. I fought hard to cut the gas tax in New York, and now I’m calling on Bruce Blakeman to follow our lead and do the same thing so that people in our community can get some real relief from these rising costs.”
Senator John Brooks said “I was proud to fight for cuts to the State’s gas tax to give Long Islanders relief at the pump, but now we need the Counties to follow our lead and do their part. It’s time to cut the County gas tax and give us the relief we deserve!”
Senator Jim Gaughran said “Last week the Democratic State Legislature took bold action to provide Long Islanders relief at the gas pump by suspending the State’s gas tax. Now the counties must act and suspend the County gas tax. I urge County Executives Bellone and Blakeman to act now and help keep a little bit more in Long Islanders wallets.”
Assemblymember Chuck Lavine said “Skyrocketing gas prices resulting from the Russian invasion of Ukraine are hurting Nassau County residents in their wallets. I urge County Executive Blakeman to take this step which will provide significant relief as we face price increases for goods and services across the board from inflation and other factors.”
Assemblymember Michaelle C. Solages said “New York State has taken the unprecedented step of suspending fuel taxes – it is now time for the Nassau County executive to follow suit. The residents of our county are struggling to make ends meet amid soaring fuel prices, and the savings from this tax relief will help lift the enormous financial stress many families are feeling as we transition out of this pandemic.”
During the event, Nassau County Legislator Arnie Drucker announced the introduction of a resolution in the Nassau County Legislature to cut the county sales tax on gasoline, but noted that it would take leadership from the County Executive and the Legislature’s Majority Leader to bring the measure up for a vote.
Legislator Arnie Drucker said “We have an obligation that is neither Democratic nor Republican, to deliver immediate relief to families here in Nassau County as they struggle to make ends meet. As gas prices soared amidst the war in Ukraine, it became clear that we needed to deliver emergency relief to Nassau County residents. However, County Executive Blakeman and his counterparts in the Legislature responded to dragging their feet for nearly a month and dismissing our proposal out of hand, rather than fighting for the residents who were enduring sticker shock at the pump. This morning, after the Democratic Caucus of the Nassau County Legislature filed legislation to partially suspend the gas tax, County Executive has miraculously gotten on board with our proposal. All I have to say is, ‘what took you so long?’ I am proud to be part of a caucus that always puts the needs of Nassau County residents first. Cutting our gas taxes is a victory for taxpayers, and I look forward to its immediate enactment.”
The lawmakers are urging residents to sign a petition urging Bruce Blakeman and Steve Bellone to follow their lead and cut the county gas taxes to give residents desperately needed relief.
“Nassau County has a golden opportunity to protect consumers from soaring gas prices by temporarily suspending our share of the gasoline sales tax,” said Nassau County Legislator Debra Mulé. “I commend New York State officials for heeding our call for action, and urge County Executive Blakeman to join with us in our efforts to deliver immediate and real relief to the residents we serve.”
Senator Kevin Thomas said “The skyrocketing cost of gas is putting immense strain on families and small businesses across Long Island. That’s why the State Legislature took action to bring down costs at the pump. Now, we need local governments to do their part to provide relief to residents. We call on County Executive Blakeman to cut the County gas tax and put money back into the hands of Long Islanders at a time when they need it most.”
Assemblymember Taylor Darling said “The residents of Nassau County are still suffering from the economic losses caused by the pandemic. I’m calling on County Executive Blakeman to follow the lead of the State and Cut the County tax on gas! Our communities deserve the relief at the pump!”
Assemblywoman Judy Griffin said “I signed on as a prime sponsor of the New York State Gas Tax Holiday (A.9503) in early March and advocated to include this measure in our new State Budget. Now that we’ve delivered on cutting the state’s tax on gas, I’m calling on Nassau County Executive Bruce Blakeman to follow our lead and immediately move to cut Nassau’s gas taxes – ensuring that our residents can save some money and help them provide for the essential needs of their families. At a time of rising costs due to instability around the world, it’s time for Bruce Blakeman and the County Legislature to step up and do something to serve the residents of Nassau County: join us in reducing the pain at the pump for our hard working constituents.”