LONG ISLAND - The price for a gallon of gas at a Mobil station in Hauppauge on Long Island dropped 26-cents within seconds on Wednesday as New York suspended its gas tax.
"I just put in 14 gallons, that’s $4-5 bucks," said one driver.
Effective immediately, the state has suspended the 16-cent per gallon gas tax for the rest of this year with some counties like Suffolk going a step further.
"What we’ve done is waive our portion of the sales tax which is 4.25-cents on anything over $3 per gallon," said Leg. Kevin McCaffrey, presiding officer of the Suffolk County Legislature.
Along with Suffolk, Nassau and Westchester counties are capping taxes after $3 per gallon and Rockland County - at $2 a gallon. A move officials tell us will be absorbed by the individual counties and could save drivers 25-30 cents a gallon depending on the price of gasoline.
"We expect the cost to be about $15-16 million," McCaffrey said. "It’s substantial but we think it’s important to give back."
The suspension is expected to save New Yorkers some $600 million across the state - but some have their reservations about the real solution.
"We’ll take the savings any way we can, but I think it’s because of everything in the administration that has to do with fossil fuel," said Kevin Beyer with the Long Island Gas Retailers Association. "There’s nothing being done to alleviate this problem."
The gas tax suspension was passed in New York as part of the $220 billion state budget - this as the average price per gallon in the state hovers just under $5.
If you don’t notice a discount at gas stations, drivers are encouraged to report it to the New York Attorney General or your local department of consumer affairs.