New York State Assemblyman Fred Thiele, of Sag Harbor, says residents of the South Fork are paying more for gasoline than the average Long Islander, despite a drop in price of $1.50 per gallon since the summer.
South Fork prices have dropped from a high of about $4 per gallon last summer to just below $2.50, according to Thiele office.
“The average price for East Hampton and Southampton along Montauk Highway excluding Amagansett and Montauk is now $2.49,” Thiele said. “The average price for Amagansett and Montauk is $2.89. A gallon of gas on the North Fork is now about $2.20. The Long Island average is $2.35 and the State average is $2.40.”
Thiele’s office determined the average price of gasoline on the South Fork on January 31 was $2.49. That’s 14 cents higher than the average for all of Nassau and Suffolk counties and 4 cents higher than the New York City average.
Thiele’s office has tracked South Fork gas prices since the middle of 2011. The price differential between the South Fork and Long Island has ranged in that time from 6 cents cheaper on the South Fork to 27 cents more expensive on the South Fork. More often than not, the South Fork is paying more.
Thiele attributes the disparity to zone pricing, the practice 0f setting gas prices based on the geographical location of a gas station. Thiele sponsored a bill in the Assembly to ban zone pricing, and it passed 130 to 5. However, the bill never passed in the Senate.
“For the consumers on the South Fork, Westchester, Rochester, Utica and other locations impacted by this unfair business practice, it is imperative that the Legislature approve this bill,” Thiele said.