Amid our appreciation and remembrances for all those brave New Yorkers who have served our Nation in the Armed Forces, and as proud and thankful as I am for the sacrifices of these remarkable men and women, Memorial Day also marks the beginning of the tourist season for us here on Long Island. This brings to mind the fact that the bulk of our local economic revenue is brought in between this weekend and Labor Day – however, this year, that revenue is in danger because of the ridiculously high gasoline prices here on the East End, which are now past $4 per gallon.
I am deeply disappointed that Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver and the rest of the Assembly Majority have ignored the fact that the high gasoline prices are going to devastate Long Island’s tourism-based economy. For months, I have urged them to take action to prevent this. However, they have sat idly by and now the summer season is here. Not only would our plan to cut gasoline prices, the “Summer Gas Tax Holiday,” have saved New Yorkers an average $6 per fill-up, it would have helped attract tourists. The revenues brought in by tourism sustain our communities, especially on the East End, and boost our entire state’s sales tax revenues. It is a disgrace that the Assembly Majority is willing to put partisan politics before doing what is in the best interest of the people of our state as well as our economy.