The day after a gas tax cap was supposed to be enacted, Suffolk County Legislature Presiding Officer William Lindsay said Wednesday that a “technical error” will delay implementation of the tax cap for at least another three months.
Lindsay, D-Holbrook, said the county law was never filed with New York State.
He added that a special meeting has already been called for Thursday, and
Suffolk County Executive Steve Levy has been asked to file a certificate of necessity. The tax cap can be filed following another affirmative vote, and would begin three months after it is filed with the state.
A tax cap passed by Suffolk County Legislators taking effect Tuesday will offer consumers a slight break at the pumps, a welcome relief as prices approach $4 a gallon.
Passed on Aug. 3, 2010, the tax cap will limit Suffolk County's sales tax levy on motor and diesel fuel once prices hit $3 a gallon.
The price of gas at the pump has risen drastically in East Hampton Town. At the , employee Angel Sandos said prices have changed every day in the past week. On Feb. 24, the price of regular rose 10 cents to $3.75 a gallon, on Feb. 25 it rose to $3.85 a gallon.
At in East Hampton Village, manager Ishan Peker said the price rose 24 cents for regular gas over a month from Jan. 26 at $3.39 a gallon to $3.63 a gallon on Feb. 26.
According to Robert Lipp, deputy director with the Suffolk County Legislature Budget Review Office, since the county tax cap starts at the $3 wholesale price, customers would only start seeing relief with pump prices above $3.30 a gallon. Though, the county tax only equates to a few cents per gallon.
Lipp added that the average annual savings for drivers – at $3.50 per gallon, 12,000 miles per year, 20 miles per gallon – will be $8.
"That's $8 on my pocket that isn't going to the government," said Bill Faulk, legislative aide for Legis. Ed Romaine, who co-sponsored the bill.
The tax cap does not affect home heating fuel oil, though the bill's sponsor, Legis. Tom Muratore, R-Selden, said the county is currently looking into the current tax structure.
One East Hampton local, Dexter Grady, who Patch found pumping gas on Monday said he would support “anything to fix the gas prices.”
Joe McKee, who owns Joe McKee’s Complete Lawn Care in East Hampton, called the gas prices unbelievable as he was stopping to fill up his tank at the Gulf in Amagansett on Monday. He said rising gas prices are putting a strain on his business.
“It’s hard to keep a small business afloat anyway,” he said.
Other business owners who provide delivery services said gas prices haven’t affected sales to date. Donald Horowitz, a part-owner of the delivery service at said he has paid more for gas over the past two or three months than over the summer.
“Sure, it cost more to run our deliveries but in recent times we have not raised the delivery fees.”
Bill Hurley, an employee at said the delivery trucks will slap on a fuel surcharges if gas prices get too high, but this has not happened yet during this gas spike. If so, he said he might have to adjust mark-up on his prices to account for any surcharges.
According to LongIslandGasPrices.com, a website which allows users to post where they can find the cheapest prices around, the average cost of regular gas on Long Island has risen from $3.36 a gallon to $3.59 a gallon in the past 30 days. According to the United States Energy Information Administration, New York State saw its regular grade gas prices rise from $3.33 to $3.54 in February.