Recently, I learned that a bill has been introduced in the New York State Assembly and Senate, which will dramatically increase the tax on gasoline and the tax on products used to heat our homes. The proposed law entitled “The Climate and Community Investment Act” (S4264A/ A6967) will do the following:
- Increase the gasoline tax by 55 cents per gallon. The new total tax on gasoline in NYS will be 98 cents, which will be the highest the nation – 57% higher than the next highest state.
- Increase the taxes on natural gas, fuel oil and electricity. The New York Business Council estimates that the tax will raise the price of natural gas by 26%.
These regressive taxes are expected to generate 15 billion dollars for state coffers. These taxes will also indirectly raise the costs of items such as groceries, clothing, home repair products and other necessary items as businesses pass along their increased costs to consumers.
The new taxes will hit middle class and working families particularly hard and will place an additional burden on the poor and seniors who are on a fixed income. Some may even have to choose between paying for increased heating costs and putting enough food on the table. The taxes will hurt small downtown businesses that support our communities. Passing a bill that raises taxes isn’t welcome at ANYTIME but to do so on the heels of the pandemic when people have lost jobs and businesses have closed is absurd and one of the worst ideas to come out of Albany in the last few months.
Please join me in opposing these new taxes by contacting your state legislators and telling them to vote no on S4264A/ A6967.
Please also join me in opposing this bill taxing gasoline and heating products by signing my petition here.
Earlier this week I joined the Legislative Majority in supporting a resolution to implement a new school bus camera program that would impose fines on drivers who illegally go around or pass school buses with their stop sign out and their flashing lights on. These cameras will help to make sure our students are safe when boarding and exiting buses by prompting drivers to abide by the law and make a complete stop until the bus indicates it’s safe to continue driving again. The measure was approved unanimously by legislative committees and will go before the full legislature for a vote on May 24th, where it is expected to pass.
On the COVID-19 front, the news has been improving everyday. Case numbers have plummeted and our positivity rate is under 1%! Specifically, it is 0.8%. There were 107 positive cases yesterday out of over 12 thousand tests taken so Nassau County is now under the NYS average. Our hospitals are in great shape as well. As of today, we have 30 patients in ICU (including ¼ of whom are non-Nassau residents), 21 patients on ventilators and we had a 4-day stretch of no COVID deaths until yesterday when we did, unfortunately, have one death.
We are still continuing to see outbreaks in schools, which is believed to be the result of socializing. As you may already be aware, children who are ages 12 and up can now be vaccinated with Pfizer.
There is a walk-in site set up in conjunction with Northwell Health that is open at Nassau Community College today from 1:00 – 9:00 p.m. If you make an appointment, the whole process will go a little faster but you can walk-in and will only spend a few extra minutes filling out paperwork. This location will also be open on Saturday and Sunday from 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. All information for scheduling an appointment for the vaccine at various locations throughout the county can be found at this link: https://www.nassaucountyny.gov/vaccine .
Overall, we have seen great improvement and continue to move in the right direction AND are still on targe to have a “normal” summer.
As always, please feel free to contact me with any thoughts and ideas you may have with respect to the County or on any particular issue that you think I may be able to assist you with. You may contact me at (516) 571-6214 or by email at LSchaefer@NassauCountyNY.gov .
Laura M. Schaefer
Legislator, District 14