The secular New Year has brought with its celebrations a few moans and groans, at least for people living in the tri-state area.
The prices of gasoline, electricity and natural gas are all going up in the Empire State.
New York’s seven-month fuel tax holiday ended with the start of the new year, raising the price of a gallon of gasoline by 16 cents to a total tax of 33 cents per gallon.
The state also has an eight percent sales tax.
In New Jersey, tolls increased this week on the New Jersey Turnpike, Garden State Parkway, and the Atlantic City Expressway.
On the New Jersey Turnpike, the average toll for passenger cars will rise from $4.95 to $5.10. But if you’re driving from Edison (Interchange 10) to Newark (Interchange 14), passenger vehicle cash tolls are going up from $5.65 to $5.85; peak period E-ZPass tolls are going up from $5.62 to $5.79. Off-peak E-ZPass rates are rising from $4.22 to $4.35, NJ.com reported.
Tolls on the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey’s bridges and tunnels are set to rise by a dollar on January 8, raising the E-ZPass toll rate from $11.75 to $12.75 during off-peak hours. E-ZPass tolls during peak hours are going up to $14.75 from the current $13.75. Cash tolls are rising from $16 to $17.
In Connecticut, a fuel tax hike raised the price of a gallon of gasoline by 2.8 cents to five cents. The price of diesel rose by nine cents per gallon. The price hikes are part of the state plan to phase a 25-cent excise tax on gasoline back into place by May 1.
Electricity and Gas Rates Also Rising
New Yorkers are also contending with an increased cost for cooking, lighting and heating in their homes.
Electric bills are set to increase by more than 30 percent, according to a report by Spectrum News 1.
However, customers who are struggling to pay the higher bills this winter may get some help: National Grid has announced it will donate $6 million for a one-time program to help some 31,500 New York households that do not qualify for the Home Energy Assistance Program (HEAP) or other aid.
National Grid estimated a 39 percent increase for its natural gas customers, and an overall 22 percent increase for customers across upstate New York.
“[We] will try to help those kinds of customers who just don’t make the cut-off for the federal programs and things like that,” said National Grid spokesperson Patrick Stella. “It’s some of the things we’re trying to do just to prepare and help customers that may be financially in trouble during the winter season.”