State Lawmakers Call for Gas Tax Relief
State lawmakers could act next week to suspend gas taxes as fuel prices hit record highs.
There appears to be growing bipartisan support for addressing gas prices, with the average per gallon price of regular hitting $4.48 in Connecticut March 10.
Republican lawmakers proposed suspending the state’s 26.4 cents per gallon gross receipts tax and called for Connecticut’s Congressional delegation to push suspension of the 18.4 cent federal tax.
“Connecticut cannot afford this tax today,” Senate Minority Leader Kevin Kelly (R-Stratford) said at a March 10 press conference. “This is, quite frankly, a no-brainer.”
House Minority Leader Vincent Candelora (R-North Branford) said legislators were being “inundated” by calls from constituents struggling with soaring gas prices.
“We can afford this tax relief to take the pressure off at the pump,” Candelora said.
“The state is awash in federal aid, we’ve got an anticipated budget surplus, and an enormous rainy day fund that’s growing by the day—yet, there’s still more talk about tax increases.”
Gov. Ned Lamont is expected to meet with legislative leaders to discuss temporary tax cuts.
“The numbers have to add up,” he told reporters March 10. “You’ve got to pay your bills.”
Rep. Sean Scanlon (D-Guilford), co-chair of the legislature’s Finance, Revenue, and Bonding Committee, told the Hartford Courant the legislature could act next week “if we can find agreement on a plan.”
Senate President Martin Looney (D-New Haven) and Majority Leader Bob Duff (D-Norwalk) also said they are discussing gas tax relief proposals with their caucus.
Connecticut has two gas taxes, the 0.881 percent gross receipts tax capped at 26.4 cents after the wholesale price hits $3 a gallon, and a flat 25 cents-per-gallon tax.
GOP leaders said their proposal to suspend the wholesale receipts tax through June 30 would cost the state $180 million.
CBIA president and CEO Chris DiPentima applauded the potential for a bipartisan agreement to address record-high gas prices.
“Skyrocketing gas prices have an even greater impact in Connecticut, which already has one of the highest costs of living and highest costs of doing business,” DiPentima said.
“Providing relief will be welcomed, particularly by residents and small businesses struggling with the labor shortage, inflation, and supply chain bottlenecks.”
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