Rep. Camillo Calls for Repeal of Burdensome Sales Tax on Car Washes

HARTFORD – State Representative Fred Camillo (R-Greenwich) testified before the General Assembly’s joint committee on Finance, Revenue and Bonding on Friday, March 2, 2018 in support of H.B. 5009, An Act Exempting Car Wash Services from the Sales Tax. Camillo introduced the bill along with Reps. Livvy Floren, Mike Bocchino and Sen. Scott Frantz.

 “The tax was repealed years ago because it was not bringing in the revenue necessary to justify the means,” said Rep. Camillo “When it was brought back under the current administration, it had an immediate and direct impact on car wash owners. Many of these were family-owned businesses that served as a primary source of income. Several businesses were forced to cut back on labor, which led to service reductions. As a result, many have suffered. In a time of fiscal challenge, small businesses are particularly hit hardest, and in the case of car washes, the challenges are even more so since many consider this service a luxury.”

The car wash tax was implemented in the early 1990s by the Democrat-controlled General Assembly, but was repealed shortly thereafter once it was determined that the tax did not meet revenue expectations. Years later, Governor Malloy and the Majority Party reinstated the tax, which has since created a significant burden on small business owners.

“While it may be easy for a hedge fund to uproot and leave Connecticut, small businesses like car washes don’t possess that capability,” added Rep. Camillo. “While larger retailers may be able to withstand a sales tax increase, small businesses are often forced to close because they cannot remain profitable. We will never revive our state’s economy if we continue to raise taxes on our entrepreneurs. Any revenue the state hoped to gain from taxing car washes will only continue to vanish with the jobs that are lost because of the tax.”

H.B. 5009, An Act Exempting Car Wash Services from the Sales Tax, is currently before the Finance, Revenue and Bonding Committee. If it receives a favorable report, it will be sent to the House and Senate Chambers where it may be called for discussion and a vote.