McKinney Welcomes Governor’s Support for State Gas Tax Cap, Blasts Democrats for Excuses and Lack of Action

July 5, 2008

State Senate Minority Leader John McKinney released the following statement today in the wake of Governor Rell’s announcement that she supports capping the state gross receipts tax on gasoline. In his statement, McKinney took issue with recent remarks by Democratic leaders who said rising gas prices are a federal problem over which the state has no control.

Senate Minority Leader John McKinney (R-Fairfield):

“Hiding behind the failures of our federal government is not leadership. Speaker Amann and Senate President Williams want you to believe that there is nothing the state can do to help reduce the price of gasoline. That’s because they want to continue to spend the hundreds-of-millions of dollars in windfall profits the state is reaping from the growing energy crisis. Well, the last time I checked, neither President Bush nor the Democrat controlled Congress had control over our state gas taxes.

“The truth that the Democrat leaders choose to ignore is, as state legislators, there is one factor contributing to the high price of gasoline that we can control, and that is the state gas tax. Currently, Connecticut gas taxes cost motorists more than 50 cents / gallon – one of the highest rates in the country. Since April, Republican legislators have been fighting to reduce that rate by cutting the gross receipts tax and permanently capping it. This will prevent the tax from increasing every time the price of oil goes up.

“Democrat leaders questioned whether Governor Rell would support capping the gross receipts tax. Either they forgot or chose to ignore the fact that Governor Rell proposed capping the tax two years ago. Regardless, now they have no excuse. With Governor Rell’s leadership and support, we are a step closer to providing a measure of relief to Connecticut families and businesses who are struggling to pay some of the highest gas prices in the nation. Legislative Democrats are the only impediment standing in the way of lower gas taxes in Connecticut.”