This winter, the cost of natural gas for residents in New Jersey will climb by close to 25% due to a new tax. Two state senators are now attempting to ease the financial burden of the increase.
To prevent the state’s income from profiting at the expense of suffering households when natural gas heating costs soar by as much as 25 percent, Senators Joe Pennacchio and Declan O’Scanlon have sponsored the legislation.
The Senate introduced a bill this week (S-3354) to halt the sales tax on natural gas and electricity for residential users during the winter months.
To quote Pennacchio: “The Board of Public Utilities approved the large price jump, and the State unfairly profits from the high cost of residential heating” (R-24).
It’s not right to do this to families that are having a hard time as it is without the added stress of a potentially unstable financial situation.
We will not stand by while the State profits from price hikes that hurt its citizens, who are already struggling to make ends meet in the face of unchecked inflation and skyrocketing interest rates.
On October 1st, double-digit rate increases were allowed by state regulators for four gas providers representing millions of customers. Nearly two million consumers were affected when PSE&G, the largest utility in New Jersey, raised gas prices by 25 percent.
Elizabethtown Gas, NJ Natural Gas, and South Jersey Gas customers will also see price hikes.
For state residents already trapped in an economic downturn, “adding sales tax on top of the skyrocketing rates rubs salt in the wounds,” as O’Scanlon put it (R-13).
Inflation is raising the price of food and gas, and rising interest rates are increasing the cost of other necessities like mortgages, car payments, and credit card purchases, all of which are having a significant impact on families. They need help badly, and this bill is a good first step.
Time reported last month that rising costs for heating and electricity this winter are the result of a combination of a worldwide energy crisis and the highest inflation increases in 40 years.
The article predicts a 34% increase in natural gas expenses for households that use the fuel to warm their houses.
The average cost of the least efficient choice could rise to $1,328, a 7 percent increase for electricity customers.