The state is awash in federal money, and after reading news reports about a bulging rainy day fund and estimated budget surpluses, Connecticut residents are wondering when state government will start working from them rather than itself. Suspending the Petroleum Gross Earnings Tax will provide citizens with immediate relief.
HARTFORD – Connecticut Senate and House Republicans are calling on state lawmakers to temporarily suspend the state gross receipts tax on gasoline and are demanding that Connecticut’s federal Congressional delegation deliver on a federal gas tax cut proposal to provide immediate relief to Connecticut residents as gas prices surge.
Connecticut Republican lawmakers are proposing to suspend the state’s gross receipts tax on gasoline which has risen to 26.4 cents per gallon in recent weeks. They are also demanding that Connecticut’s federal delegation follow through on calls to halt the federal 18.4 cents per gallon gas tax.
Together, these proposals will immediately save Connecticut residents 44.8 cents on every gallon of gasoline.
Republican leaders are calling on state lawmakers to adopt this proposal immediately during the legislative session scheduled for Wednesday, March 16, 2022. The lawmakers will also seek to adopt language to require that suppliers and retailers pass on the reduction in taxes to consumers.
The state tax proposal is budget neutral. The state can afford the reduction with its windfall in increased sales tax and gas tax revenue the state is collecting as a result of inflation.
“Every day it is getting harder and harder for families in Connecticut to balance their budgets. Families need relief at the pump today. Gas prices have been rising steadily for months thanks to the President’s policies. The impact of the war is only worsening a problem that has been long in the making,” said Senate Republican Leader Kevin Kelly (R-Stratford). “Connecticut has a surplus in revenue collected from taxpayers as a result of inflation. That windfall must be returned to Connecticut taxpayers to provide relief. The inflation-related surplus alone covers the cost of this tax relief today for the remainder of the fiscal year. This is a no-brainer that will provide immediate relief when families need it most.”
“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. It’s no wonder frustration is growing among so many residents who rightly believe that a self-serving state government is gorging itself on their hard-earned money,” said House Republican Leader Vincent Candelora (R-North Branford.) “That resentment will continue to fester unless we meet the immediate challenge of providing taxpayers some of the relief they desperately need as this crisis at the pump intensifies. Pausing this hidden tax is not only a solid first step, it’s one that simply can’t be ignored by our colleagues given news that state workers are in line to receive both pay raises and bonuses through negotiations with the governor’s administration. Aside from helping residents keep more money in their pockets, putting this concept up for a vote next week would send a hopeful message at a difficult time for everyone: state government does, in fact, have the capacity to make life here more affordable if we all pull in the same direction.”
“We also demand that Senator Blumenthal follow through on his proposal to suspend the federal gas tax and urge Governor Lamont to demand that President Biden implement this tax cut immediately,” said Senator Heather Somers (R-Groton), ranking member of the Transportation Committee. “If Sen. Blumenthal supports a federal gas tax suspension, then he should also support a state gas tax suspension and push his Democratic colleagues here in Connecticut to adopt this proposal immediately.”
“I hear from neighbors every day who are struggling with the impacts of inflation, especially since gas prices continue to climb and are now over four dollars a gallon. This is relief we can provide struggling residents right now,” said Rep. Carney, House Ranking Member of the Transportation Committee. “The gross receipts tax often leads to Connecticut residents paying more at the pump than our neighboring states. Across the country six Democrat governors have called to suspend the federal gas tax, and locally so has Senator Blumenthal, I hope our friends across aisle will join us and move forward with immediate action.”
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