Nassau GOP eyes $2 gas cap tax

A plan by Nassau Republicans to cap the county gas tax at $2 is being met with skepticism, despite interest from residents. Minority Leader Peter Schmitt's (R-Seaford) proposal would set the county

News 12 Staff

Jul 2, 2007, 9:54 PM

Updated 6,232 days ago

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A plan by Nassau Republicans to cap the county gas tax at $2 is being met with skepticism, despite interest from residents.
Minority Leader Peter Schmitt's (R-Seaford) proposal would set the county cap at the same level of the state's ceiling.
"We are collecting money from the taxpayers of this county that is not our money and was never budgeted for," Schmitt said. "We should exercise our obligation to give it back."
The average price of a gallon of gasoline on Long Island is $3.19. Federal and state taxes account for approximately 70 cents of that, meaning about $2.50 is currently taxable by the county. A county gas tax cap of $2 would lower consumers' cost by about 2 cents per gallon.
Presiding Officer Judy Jacobs (D-Woodbury) said the bill didn't pass last year and probably won't this year.
"You have to look at the other side of the coin," Jacobs said. "What will it do to the county budget? It will create a $17 million-plus hole in the county budget."
Dowling College economist Marty Cantor agrees. "It is a feel good, do nothing type of bill," he said. "The Republicans can't lose by bringing it up, but the county could lose fiscally if it gets adopted."
Of the 14 counties in New York State that followed the state's lead by capping local gas taxes at $2, five of those counties have already backed out, Jacobs said.
Hicksville resident Joe Caruso, though, expressed interest, noting how much the high price of gas hurts his wallet. "It would be nice to see the prices a little bit lower."


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