OP-ED

Give us a break at the pump!

Posted

Fast-moving world events have sent gas prices soaring—here on Long Island, we are setting new gas price records every day, and the spikes are creating worry among everyone who relies on our cars to get to school and work. While some of us will try to drive less to ease the pain, for others that’s just not an option, and the sky-high prices could disrupt the fragile economic recovery that’s just beginning to take hold after the pandemic.

We need to take action now to bring relief to hard-pressed families. That’s why I’m backing legislation to suspend New York’s sky-high gas taxes until this emergency passes. The bill (S.8483) would waive the 46 cents-a-gallon state tax on every gallon—that’s equal to a little more than $8 a tank for the average-sized family vehicle—for six months, and also includes reforms that will help ensure that future tax collections are used as intended, to repair and improve our state highway system.

I’m urging everyone to visit my website—weik.nysenate.gov—and sign the petition to support a suspension of the state’s gas tax.

Meantime, AAA is providing some energy-saving tips that everyone should use to try to lower the cost of driving. Here’s the top three:

A dirty air filter can cut your mileage by 10 percent; and underinflated tires make your car’s engine work harder. Properly maintain your car to improve fuel economy;

Combine errands so that you are driving less;

Slow down! Speeding and aggressive driving wastes fuel—and makes our roads less safe.

Popular gas price apps for your smartphone or home computer can help, too.

Higher gas prices are just the latest challenge to making it more affordable to live in New York, but there are things we can do about it. I hope you will join with me in supporting my bill to suspend the gas tax.

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