Ramos Calls for Energy Cost Saving Measure to be Effective by December 1

October 26, 2005
Commissioner Andrew S. Eristoff
New York State Department of Taxation and Finance
W. A. Harriman Campus
Albany, NY 12227

Dear Commissioner Eristoff,

Due to the anticipated rise of energy costs this winter, I urge the Department of Taxation and Finance to help residents of Suffolk County by waiving the 90-day waiting period for tax law changes.

The Suffolk County Legislature and the Suffolk County Executive recently worked together to reduce its 2.5 percent sales tax to 1.5 percent on home heating fuel from December 1 through May 31 to help area residents and businesses cope with the projected record high prices. This resolution, number 1034, was unanimously passed on October 6th by the Legislature, and then signed immediately into law by the County Executive. However, for this measure to be effective December 1st, the Department of Taxation and Finance must lift its 90-day waiting period.

The reduction of the sales tax on home heating fuel will allow Suffolk County families and businesses to manage the high cost of heating their homes and businesses. With prices projected to dramatically increase throughout the winter, the state must follow the county’s example and act now to ensure that residents can afford to stay warm.

Suffolk County families and businesses already pay some of the highest rates in the country because of repetitive fuel surcharge additions and rate hikes by Long Island Power Authority. This county rate reduction can finally give businesses, individuals, and our most vulnerable residents – senior citizens living on fixed incomes and low-income families – the relief they need to cope with soaring heating bills.

I strongly urge the Department of Taxation and Finance to act quickly and approve this temporary tax cut so that Suffolk families and businesses can better cope with heating costs this winter.

Sincerely,
Philip Ramos
Member of Assembly

cc: Suffolk County Executive Levy
Presiding Officer Caracappa
Suffolk County Legislators Montano and Lindsay