(MINEOLA, N.Y.) - As fuel prices continue to rise rapidly because of volatility on the world stage, members of the Nassau County Legislature’s Minority Caucus are urging their colleagues in local government to support a proposal that would deliver emergency relief to residents by temporarily suspending the County’s share of sales tax on gasoline.
The plan, revealed today by Nassau County Legislature Minority Leader Kevan M. Abrahams (D - Freeport), is designed to insulate Nassau residents who are being forced to shoulder rapidly increased costs that are being driven by the war in the Ukraine and sanctions that are all but certain to further impact fuel costs in the short term.
“No Nassau County resident should be forced to choose between filling their gas tank and filling their prescriptions, but as fuel prices continue to climb, that is what far too many are confronted with,” Minority Leader Abrahams said. “Temporarily suspending Nassau’s gasoline sales taxes will go a long way toward protecting local families as our nation takes difficult but necessary steps in the pursuit of peace.”
Minority Leader Abrahams said this approach delivers meaningful relief to residents without jeopardizing Nassau’s fiscal health. Recent analysis indicates that the reduction in sales tax revenue caused by suspending the County portion of gasoline taxes would have a minimal impact upon the County’s projected sales tax surplus for fiscal year 2022.
“Not only do soaring gas prices especially hurt working families, seniors, and residents living on a fixed income, they jeopardize economic growth in a crucial recovery period for our region,” Minority Leader Abrahams said. “That is why it is so important to take immediate emergency action that puts money directly back into the hands of our residents when they need it the most.”
“Government has a responsibility to closely analyze every opportunity for minimizing as much pain at the pump as we possibly can,” Nassau County Legislator Siela A. Bynoe (D - Westbury) said. “Paired with a renewed focus on preventing price gouging, this proposal would provide timely assistance to consumers during a tremendously turbulent period.”
“I am fully in favor of America’s efforts to support the Ukrainian people and end this senseless, horrible war,” Nassau County Legislator Debra Mulé (D - Freeport) said. “While some of the necessary steps that we have taken will require sacrifice from the American people, this initiative will reduce the pain at the pump for consumers at a critical time. I am hopeful that my colleagues will join with us in advocating for this common-sense approach.”
“While symbolic gestures have been plentiful of late, they don’t do much to deliver assistance for our residents - let alone the people that are under attack in Ukraine,” Nassau County Legislator Delia DeRiggi-Whitton (D - Glen Cove) said. “We hope the County Executive will join us in backing an initiative that both supports America’s strategy for ending the war and puts sales tax money back into the pockets of consumers.”
“We are undoubtedly living in the most dangerous times since World War II. Just as we stood together to defeat Hitler and the Axis forces, we must stand together now to defeat Putin’s illegal, immoral attempt to impose his tyranny and fascism upon the Ukrainian people,” Nassau County Legislator Arnold W. Drucker (D - Plainview) said. “While some of the steps we are taking as a nation will not be without cost, Nassau County can blunt the impact felt by our residents by temporarily suspending Nassau’s share of the gasoline sales tax. I fully support this effort and urge for it to be implemented without delay.”
“Soaring fuel prices are making the average Nassau resident’s daily commute more expensive than ever,” Nassau County Legislator Joshua Lafazan (D - Woodbury) said. “To confront this emergency, it is essential for local government to act swiftly to protect our residents and support long term economic growth.”