Connecticut lawmakers approved a new per-mile tax on trucks and changes to the state's public-private partnership statute while carbon cap-and-trade legislation designed to reduce vehicle emissions and fund transit projects failed.
SB 6688 cleared both the state House and Senate on the penultimate day of the legislative session.
The legislation imposes a per-mile tax on trucks that increases based on a vehicle's gross weight, with all revenue intended for the state's Special Transportation Fund.
The tax only applies to tractor trailers and ranges from 2.5 cents per mile for trucks weighing 26,000-28,000 pounds to 17.5 cents for vehicles over 80,000 pounds.
According to the nonpartisan Office of Fiscal Analysis, the tax is expected to raise $45 million in fiscal 2023 and $90 million the following.
CBIA signed a letter drafted by the Motor Transport Association of Connecticut earlier this year urging the governor to remove the tax from the budget package.
While the tax was ultimately removed from the budget, it passed as a stand alone bill.
Transportation Climate Initiative
With the STF facing fiscal insolvency, Gov. Ned Lamont pushed two proposals designed to bolster infrastructure funding.
Connecticut is one of a handful of states participating in the Transportation Climate Initiative, a multistate pact designed to reduce emissions through a carbon cap-and-trade system on wholesale fuel suppliers.
The carbon cap would decrease every year and incentivize a reduction in carbon emissions.
Under the proposal, the state would use revenue from the program to make investments in clean transportation options and infrastructure.
However, the legislation died shortly before session concluded as the result of budget negotiations between the governor’s office and Democratic legislative leadership.
House Speaker Matt Ritter (D-Hartford) told reporters he still supports the proposal and it may be part of the upcoming special session.
The legislature approved long-needed changes to the public-private partnership statute, sending legislation to Lamont for his signature.
SB 920 passed the House 107-38 June 4 after clearing the Senate on a 25-10 vote last month.
The bill makes a number of changes to the P3 statute that will make it easier for the governor to approve P3 projects and better incentivize public-private collaboration.
SB 920 reauthorizes the governor’s authority to approve up to five P3 project agreements through January 1, 2027. This authority had expired on January 1, 2020.