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OPINION: Inflation Relief & Consumer Assistance Plan Will Combat Ongoing Price Increases

By Will Barclay

Date:

One need only to take a trip to your local grocery store or gas station to see the impact rampant inflation is having on struggling New Yorkers. Gas prices have surged more than 42 percent and hit a seven-year high, while energy prices, food, clothing, paper products, and housekeeping supplies have all seen notable jumps in price. These rising expenses are unsustainable, and each week they go unaddressed is a week too long.

These increasing costs are taking their toll on households across the state as family incomes have been largely unable to keep up with surging inflation. For this reason, I, along with my colleagues in the Assembly minority conference, recently introduced the “Inflation Relief & Consumer Assistance Plan” to help alleviate some of the financial pressure facing New York residents.

 The plan calls for the immediate suspension of state sales-tax charges on items like gasoline, personal-care products, housekeeping supplies, and food for two years. These everyday items are necessary purchases for all New Yorkers, and under current economic conditions are quickly becoming unaffordable. There is simply no reason families should have to choose which of these necessities to leave on the shelves as they do their weekly grocery shopping. It is unfair and economically cruel to leave this problem unchecked.

 Fortunately, New York’s finances are in a position where we can provide a tax cut and critical financial relief for everyone. Even Gov. Kathy Hochul recently admitted the state’s economic revenues are exceeding expectations and pointed out New York is expecting $4 billion more than anticipated in previous projections. What better way to help New Yorkers deal with these massive cost increases than giving back some of their hard-earned money?

 One of the biggest problems New Yorkers face is the state’s incredibly oppressive cost of living. Even prior to the inflation crisis we’re experiencing today, New York has historically been one of the most-expensive states in which to live or do business. Our sales taxes, income taxes, and property taxes cut into household budgets. With prices rising sharply in every sector, supporting a family and making ends meet becomes a more difficult challenge.

We have a chance to do something to help New Yorkers combat this cost-of-living crisis, and the Inflation Relief & Consumer Assistance Plan would be a great step in that direction. As prices continue to rise, we will fight for measures like this to give New Yorkers the break they so desperately need. Anything less would be irresponsible.        

William (Will) A. Barclay, Republican, is the New York Assembly minority leader and represents the 120th New York Assembly District, which encompasses most of Oswego County, including the cities of Oswego and Fulton, as well as the town of Lysander in Onondaga County and town of Ellisburg in Jefferson County. Contact Barclay at barclaw@assembly.state.ny.us. 

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