CT Democrats won’t rule out a new “mileage tax” – what do you think?

August 3, 2015

Article as it appeared on WTNH.com

NEW BRITAIN, Conn. (WTNH) — The discussion of a “mileage tax” in Connecticut is continuing to surge on the internet and social media. The proposal is to levy a tax according to the number of miles you drive. Top Democratic leaders of the state Senate are refusing to rule it “in” or “out” as the search continues for a way to pay for Governor Malloy’s $100 billion transportation plans.

At city and town halls across Connecticut, people are lining up to pay their property tax bills on their homes and their cars, due August 3. The “car tax,” the common name for the property tax on vehicles, is one of the taxes people complain about the most. Senate President Martin Looney and Majority Leader Senator Bob Duff are touring the state, trumpeting that a cut is coming in the car tax for residents of New Haven, Hartford, and the other big cities, starting in 2016.

New Britain based Dattco, the largest bus company in the state, will save over $50,000 in property taxes in the first year of the new “car tax cap,” but what’s being totally ignored in all this celebration is the fact that before this tax cut even goes into effect, lawmakers will likely be coming back to Hartford and vote on a plan that will increase fees in the form of highway tolls, taxes, or both, to pay for transportation plans. The mileage tax is a possibility.

The two leaders say it’s too early to weigh in on any one of the ideas, but Senator Looney wants to know more about the mileage tax.

“We need to wait for specific recommendations and how something might be implemented. In other words, how would the mileage tax be documented? Would people have to file a yearly statement? Whatever, the details have to be worked out,” he said.

“We have to look at every single thing that’s out there, but that doesn’t mean that every idea that’s been presented is something that we need to go with,” added Senator Duff.

Although no one will speak on the record, sources within the leadership of the General Assembly confirm that a special session to consider ways to pay for the Governor’s big plans is possible before the end of the year.

“That certainly is possible depending on the timing because, of course, the next regular session doesn’t begin until February,” said Senator Looney.