Senator Kane Votes For Gas Tax Relief & Government Ethics Legislation During Special Session

June 18, 2008

Voted Against Extending Expiration Date Of Increase In Municipal Conveyance Tax Rate

Senator Rob Kane (R-32) helped secure passage of bills intended to provide a measure of relief at the gas pumps and reform government ethics during last week’s special legislative session.

However, Senator Kane voted against the measure passed during the special legislative session that extends the expiration date of the increase in the municipal real estate conveyance tax rate until July 1, 2010.

“While I sympathize with municipalities’ need for revenues to run local government, I could not in good conscience vote for a bill that once again breaks the legislature’s promise to end this so-called temporary increase in the municipal real estate conveyance tax. It’s not fair to homeowners,” said Senator Kane.

The ongoing temporary increase in the municipal real estate conveyance tax, which was scheduled to end on July 1st, maintains the basic 0.25% rate for the next two years. Without the General Assembly’s action during the special session, the basic municipal rate would have dropped to 0.11%. Senator Kane noted that the limited call of the special session effectively blocked a debate and vote on a Republican compromise amendment to lower the state real estate conveyance tax rate while maintaining the current rate of the municipal conveyance tax.

. “Republican legislators offered a compromise that would have reduced the rate of the state real estate conveyance tax, while permitting municipalities to continue to collect their conveyance tax at the higher rate. It was a good compromise, and I am disappointed that we did not get to debate and vote on it,” said Senator Kane, noting that the General Assembly has voted in the past to maintain the temporary increase in the municipal conveyance tax.

Senator Kane did vote in favor of comprehensive government ethics reform legislation that, among other things, generally permits the courts to revoke or reduce the pensions of public officials, and state and municipal employees who are convicted of certain crimes related to their jobs, and makes it a class A misdemeanor for public servants to fail to report a bribe.

“It is critically important that our state government do everything in its power to restore faith in government, and in the people they elect to public office. I believe that this is good government ethics legislation, and I was happy to have the opportunity to help pass it,” said Senator Kane.

Furthermore, Senator Kane also voted in favor of legislation intended to provide Connecticut drivers with a measure of relief at the gas pumps. However, he criticized the legislature’s Democrat majority for using technical maneuvers to prevent a debate and vote on Republican amendments that, if adopted, would have cut the rate or the state’s petroleum products gas tax.

“The legislation we passed last week will prevent Connecticut’s hidden gas tax – the petroleum products gross receipts tax – from increasing from 7% to 7.5 percent on July 1st, and will make it possible for gas stations to offer cash discounts. However, at the very least, the General Assembly should have been allowed to debate our Republican amendments to actually cut that tax to five percent, and to cap the wholesale price on which the petroleum products gross receipts tax is based. If our amendments had passed, Connecticut residents would have seen a decrease in their state gas taxes. Nevertheless, the bill we did pass is a step in the right direction,” said Senator Kane.