HARTFORD, CT – State legislators unanimously passed a bill Wednesday temporarily suspending Connecticut’s 25-cents-per-gallon excise tax on gasoline, creating a one-week sales tax holiday on clothing and footwear under $100 from April 10 to April 16, 2022, and suspending fares on all CTtransit buses statewide.
The gas and bus initiatives begin on April 1 with the excise tax on gasoline lasting until June 30, 2022 and the suspension of bus fares expiring on June 30, 2022.
State Rep. Tony Scott, (R-112th), and Senate Republican Leader Kevin Kelly (R-21st), who both represent Monroe, voted in favor of the emergency bipartisan legislation (House Bill 5501).
“House and Senate Republicans have been calling for a suspension of the gas tax for weeks because we are hearing from residents daily about the financial struggles caused by skyrocketing prices at the pump,” Scott said in a press release.
“Today, lawmakers came together in a bipartisan vote to deliver tax relief to all Connecticut families,” Kelly said in a statement Wednesday. “This is an important first step in providing needed relief to working- and middle-class families to combat the crushing impact of inflation. But our work is far from done.”
The legislation that was approved Wednesday includes language asserting that failure by retailers to reduce the per-gallon price of gasoline by 25 cents during the suspension period will be considered an “unfair or deceptive trade practice.”
Scott said, “though this is a measure of relief for Connecticut residents, it doesn’t completely remove the financial burden for commuters, businesses, families and parents who, in some cases, are simply trying to get their kids to school each day.”
He suggested a repeal of the Highway Usage Tax, which is meant to provide funding for roads.
Scott said Democrats want to exempt the agriculture industry from the controversial tax, but Republicans will propose repealing the tax completely during this legislative session.
The tax targets heavyweight commercial trucks and passed largely along party lines last year. Scott said Republicans, trucking and grocery industry advocates opposed the legislation, because they contended it would result in higher prices for consumers.
“The tax was estimated to generate $45 million in the first year,” Scott said. “It would raise $90 million annually in subsequent years. We need to do better for our Connecticut families, and with more bipartisan efforts like the suspension of the gas tax, we can.”