This winter, the cost of natural gas for people in New Jersey will go up by almost 25% because of tax hikes. Now, two state senators are trying to help people who have to pay more because of the increase.
Senators Joe Pennacchio and Declan O’Scanlon have introduced a bill to make sure that families who are struggling don’t have to pay more for heating with natural gas so that the state can get more money.
This week, Senators introduced a bill (S-3354), which would stop charging residential customers sales tax on natural gas and electricity during the winter months. “The Board of Public Utilities approved the huge price increase, and the State unfairly profits from the high cost of home heating,” said Joe Pennacchio (R-24).
“It’s not fair to families who are already having trouble making ends meet in a tough economy. We won’t let the state get money from price hikes that hurt people and add to the financial stress on people who are already struggling because of inflation and interest rates that are out of control.
On October 1, the state’s regulators gave four gas companies with millions of customers permission to raise their prices by more than 10%. When PSE&G, the biggest utility company in New Jersey, raised Gas Prices by 25%, it affected nearly 2 million customers.
Energy costs will also go up for people who get their gas from Elizabethtown Gas, New Jersey Natural Gas, and South Jersey Gas. “Adding sales tax on top of the skyrocketing rates hurts state residents who are already in a financial whirlpool,” said O’Scanlon (R-13).
“Families are getting hit from all sides. Inflation is making food and gas more expensive, and rising interest rates are making housing, cars, and credit card purchases more expensive. People are desperate for help, and this bill is a step in the right direction.”
Time said last month in an article that heating and energy costs will go up this winter because of a global energy crisis and the fastest inflation growth in 40 years. The article says that families who heat their homes with natural gas could see their bills go up by up to 34%. Users of electricity can expect their bills to go up by 7 percent, bringing the average cost of the least efficient option to $1,328.