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Siena Poll Finds Gas Prices are Sucking up Family Finances

By Joyce Kryszak

Loudonville, NY – Most New Yorkers surveyed reported that soaring gas prices are hitting their family finances pretty hard. That is according to a new poll released yesterday by the Siena Research Institute.

A few weeks ago, a majority of New York residents surveyed told pollsters that higher gas prices were forcing them to give up luxury items. But the new poll shows that it is no longer helping most families to merely give up the extras.

57 percent of those asked said skyrocketing gas prices are having a "very serious impact on their financial condition." Steve Greenberg is with Siena Research. He said that means about three out of every five New Yorkers is having to make some tough choices in their daily purchases.

Not surprisingly then, most people who were surveyed - 61 percent - said they want the state to suspend gas taxes this summer. The proposal now being debated in Albany would shave 32 cents off the price of a gallon of gas. But, Greenberg said people do not necessarily believe they would get to pocket the savings.

So, who would get a break? Greenberg said New Yorkers think suspending the gas tax would simply help make the oil companies even richer. Most respondents said they blame the oli companies or President Bush for high gas prices.

Meanwhile, the price of gas in Western New York is well above the national average, creeping nearer to $4.00 a gallon. In other parts of the state, the price has already rolled over that, with some places such as Long Island already paying $4.05 a gallon.

Click the "listen" icon above to hear Joyce Kryszak's story now or use your podcasting software to download it to your computer or iPod.Joyce Kryszak - WBFO News.