More than half of responding voters in New York say they aren’t feeling relief over the suspended gas tax but are pleased the state did it anyway, according to a new Siena College poll out Thursday.
Fifty-five percent of voters surveyed by the Siena College Research Institute earlier this month said New York’s gas tax suspension — lasting till the end of the year after taking effect on June 1st — “hasn’t really had a noticeable impact on what I’m paying but I’m glad the state did it,” according to crosstabs from the poll.
“While 19% of voters say that the recent state gas tax suspension has had a noticeable impact on what they’re paying for gas, 55% said it hasn’t had a noticeable impact but they’re glad the state suspended the tax, and 15% said it’s had no impact and they wish the state hadn’t suspended the gas tax,” a release from Siena reads.
New York is one of several states nationwide that have suspended their respective gas taxes as people around the world have contended with a surge in gas prices, which followed Russia’s onslaught on Ukraine. The gas tax in New York is 16 cents per gallon. AAA reports the average price of gas in New York is $5.04 per regular gallon, above the national average of $5 per regular gallon.
Respondents in the Siena poll were surveyed early on in the gas tax suspension period, covering several days between early to mid-June. The poll, which spanned several topics including the gas tax holiday, is built on responses from more than 800 people registered to vote in New York state.
Though the political will around tax holidays like New York’s is strong across the board, economists have warned for months that drivers would not necessarily feel the financial effects of a suspension, and that the consequences would be felt palpably by consumers elsewhere.
Nearly half of respondents earning less than $50,000 annually — 48% — also said they haven’t noticed the effects of the holiday but are still glad the state did it. Support for a reprieve from the gas tax is seen across the political spectrum, even among New York voters who aren’t noticing a difference in spending.
When asked about another energy-related issue — a two-year moratorium on cryptocurrency mining at now-inactive fossil fuel plants, recently passed by the state Legislature — voters formed no consensus. Thirty-six percent of respondents said the law would be good for the state, with 31% disagreeing. Those with no opinion or mixed feelings on the issue totaled a third of responding voters.
The bill has garnered spirited opposition from the cryptocurrency industry and its supporters, including New York City Mayor Eric Adams, who converted his first mayoral paycheck to Bitcoin and Ethereum. Gov. Kathy Hochul has not committed to signing the legislation, which Adams has urged her to veto.
Other findings in the Siena poll showed overwhelming support for upholding New York’s concealed carry law, which will have its fate determined by the United States Supreme Court: 79%. Among those in support of keeping the law intact include 79% of Republicans, only 16 % of whom want the law overturned.
Sixty percent of New York voters want to uphold Roe v. Wade, from which stemmed the landmark U.S. Supreme Court ruling that made abortion legal in the United States. According to Siena, a larger share of Democratic respondents — 73% — want it upheld, compared to 41 % of Republican voters surveyed.
Hochul, who is running for a full gubernatorial term this year, has earned a favorability rating of 46%, with 37% of voters holding an unfavorable view of the governor.