Posted on November 17, 2021
HARTFORD—Rep. Lezlye Zupkus, R-89th, and House Republicans on Wednesday called for Gov. Lamont to stop the implementation of the truck tax, contending the controversial revenue policy will only increase costs for businesses in the state.
“When this came up for a vote in June, I voted ‘no,’ but the majority party managed to push it through,” Rep. Zupkus said. “As a state we cannot keep adding to the costs of small businesses. They are already overtaxed and, ultimately, those costs will be passed on to the consumer.”
The shortage of truck drivers in the United States was estimated to be just over 80,000, according to the American Trucking Association. Connecticut Democrats have heaped yet another tax on these hardworking men and women who deliver groceries, medicine and products used by residents and have given independent truckers in the state another reason to leave the industry, which will only worsen the shortage of labor and delay delivery of products in the state.
The policy targeting heavyweight commercial trucks was passed along party lines in early June despite objections from Republicans as well as trucking and grocery industry advocates who said the legislation would result in higher prices for consumers. The tax goes into effect in FY 2023 and will generate $45 million. It would raise $90 million annually in subsequent years.
Zupkus joined House Republican Leader Vincent Candelora in calling for the governor to put the brakes on the tax.
“From staffing problems to supply chain issues, and rising fuel prices to inflation, Connecticut businesses face a multitude of challenges and will for the foreseeable future. They’re making decisions today knowing they’ll have to pay this truck tax down the line—maybe it’s putting a new hire on hold, or simply making-do with outdated equipment,” said House Republican Leader Vincent Candelora and Senate Republican Leader Kevin Kelly. “For them, paying a highway usage tax on the trucks they use to deliver goods and provide services to their customers is an added burden they can’t afford. The governor can make their lives easier now, and make our state’s economic recovery happen faster, by abandoning this ill-conceived truck tax.”