HARTFORD—Connecticut House Republicans have used a parliamentary procedure to circumvent Democrat opposition to a bill that would save inflation-weary businesses and residents money by eliminating the new highway use tax (HUT) on heavyweight trucks. The HUT creates an additional burden on the trucking industry and Connecticut residents in general who are already suffering from the impacts of inflation.
On Tuesday, Republicans successfully petitioned to raise H.B. 5290, An Act Eliminating the Highway Use Tax, after the Finance Committee’s Democrat leadership refused to let the bill advance. The required 51 petition signatures were secured to force a public hearing on the bill.
“Democrats are applauding a surplus and positive revenue stream on one hand, and on the other are pushing for additional taxes that are burdensome on our residents who are dealing with record-inflation,” State Representative Anne Dauphinais said. “When the public hearing is set, I implore the people of our state to testify so that your lawmakers in Hartford are made aware of the reality of people’s situations,” she concluded.
Passed by Democrats in June of 2021, the HUT is levied according to a truck’s weight, classification and number of miles traveled in Connecticut. Targeted truck owners are required to obtain a permit to remit payments to the state, and it’s expected to generate $90 million in annual revenue. The HUT became effective Jan. 1, and businesses subjected to the tax are expected to make their first payments to the state on Feb. 28.
“The HUT is a regressive tax that directly raises the price of every product and service sold in this state,” said State Representative Doug Dubitsky. “We fought hard against the Highway Use Tax when the Democrats first imposed it on the people of this state, and we will do everything we can to get rid of it now. At least now, the people will have the opportunity to be heard.”
“Since the 2021 legislative session, House Republicans have been opposed to this law that hurts our farmers, the trucking industry, and the people of our state who are seeing the prices of goods and services on the rise because of it,” State Representative Rick Hayes said. “We are here to do what is in the best interest of the people of our state, taking more money out of their household budgets completely misses that mark in my book. I appreciate the hard work and effort that my colleagues have put into this to bring the elimination of this tax to a public hearing.”
A public hearing will be set in the near future for Connecticut residents to weigh-in on this proposal, and constituents will be updated on the bill’s status.
State Representative Anne Dauphinais represents the 44th General Assembly District which includes the towns of Killingly, Plainfield, and Sterling.
Assistant House Republican Leader Doug Dubitsky represents the 47th General Assembly District which includes the towns of Brooklyn, Canterbury, Chaplin, Lisbon, Norwich, Plainfield, Scotland, and Sprague.
Assistant House Republican Leader Rick Hayes represents the 51st General Assembly District which includes the towns of Killingly, Putnam, and Thompson.