Can you afford to pay more at the gas pump?
Governor Lamont and legislative Democrats think so, and they're pushing a plan to reduce greenhouse gas emissions through a scheme that will increase the per-gallon price of gas by as much as 26 cents by 2032. It's called the Transportation and Climate Initiative (TCI) and it could be approved in the General Assembly this spring.
Gov. Lamont and the legislature's majority Democrats who are pushing the controversial TCI legislation say they intend to "make polluters pay," using a "regional" cap and investment program as a means to reducing greenhouse gas emissions. Gasoline producers and distributors will be required to purchase carbon allowances; essentially, it's an emissions fee for gas. The reality, though, is that it's you who will end up paying more when those producers and distributors simply pass on their added costs to you. Democrats won't call it a tax, but that's what it is. Gov. Lamont says this "small tax on carbon" will raise $88 million in 2023. Ultimately, their goal is to drive Connecticut residents toward the purchase of electric vehicles by making gas too expensive.
Connecticut residents already pay roughly 54 cents per gallon in state and federal gas taxes [learn more here.] If approved, TCI would essentially amount to a hidden fourth gas tax controlled not by the legislature, but by a bureaucratic "cap allowances" auction process that occurs outside the eye of the general public.
Gov. Lamont and Democrats, citing a "cost containtment reserve," say TCI won't lead to a cost increase of greater than 5 cents per gallon. Yet the Environment Committee's co-chairman has explained that the price could actually go higher.
The combination of the TCI gas tax and a proposed $90 million mileage tax on heavy trucks will be a double whammy for Connecticut residents who will see the cost of goods and services increase as our state climbs toward a full economic recovery. Industry advocates say the mileage tax alone could result in an annual $500 increase for the cost of groceries for the average family.
Neither your state representative nor senator will have input on how the TCI gas tax revenue will be spent because it will be controlled by a panel of unelected bureaucrats appointed by the very state agencies that have been promoting this "regional" scheme.
Revenue from the TCI gas tax won’t go into the transportation lockbox, and won’t go toward fixing our state’s roads and bridges either. Instead, it will largely go toward construction of traffic roundabouts, electric charging stations, broadband internet expansion, and electric school buses that cost more than double of those used today.
Legislative Democrats and Gov. Lamont tout the environmentally-friendly investments from TCI as a means to invest in "underserved, overburdened" and low income communities, but the regressive gas tax delivered by this legislation will hurt residents of these communities most by increasing their cost to get to work, drive their kids to school, or pay for groceries.
Proponents of TCI say it's desperately needed to improve Connecticut's air quality, yet TCI modeling admits that greater fuel efficiency, electric vehicles, and current energy trends would result in a 19 percent reduction in carbon emissions by 2032 WITHOUT implementing TCI.
Connecticut's air quality is affected by pollution eminating from states to our west, a situation that will not change by increasing the cost of gas for residents here.
Democrats have already advanced Gov. Lamont's TCI proposal through the Environment Committee along party lines. Let them know how you feel about their new gas tax before it's considered in the Senate and House!
CALL Senate Democrats: 860-240-8600
CALL House Democrats: 860-240-8500
CALL Governor Lamont: 800-406-1527