Because of your help there may be relief at the pump – soon

March 27, 2012

We have all looked at the gas pumps lately and collectively grunted with disgust at the high prices. Soon gas station dealers may be breaking out the dreaded digit five – as in five dollars a gallon.

For years Republicans have been asking the majority party at the capitol to cap the gas tax. Our calls have been ignored – until now. It was only with your help supporting our changes are now going to move the dial backwards.

In Connecticut we actually have two taxes on gas. We are the only state in the nation to have a two tiered gas tax, a 25 cent excise tax and a percentage tax called the petroleum gross receipts tax. Many call it the hidden gas tax. As the price of gas rises, so does this percentage tax. This extra money was being used to support our bloated state spending which never the intent of this extra tax.

As I write this you are probably paying about 48 cents per gallon in total state taxes. A typical vehicle holds about 15 gallons of gas which means you pay nearly $7.50 in state taxes every time you fill your tank.

The state of Connecticut profits more from your pain at the pump than the store owners credit card companies and federal government combined!

Republicans want to cap that hidden tax and because many of you signed petitions, made phone calls, sent emails and attended rallies, the majority party had to face the fact that they needed to reduce taxes and start to think about reducing State spending. This week Democrat leaders promised to have a vote on legislation that would cap the gas tax. You were the difference in making this change. .

Right now there are two proposals on the table. The Democrat plan cuts the hidden tax for one year ONLY and then the tax is reintroduced on July 2013 at a much higher rate.
Some estimate that if the Democrat plan is passed – just the hidden tax alone would jump by four cents when the temporary cap expires next year – defeating the purpose of a cap and putting us in a worse place than we currently are in.

The Republican plan includes a permanent cap on the hidden tax, stops the scheduled increase on this tax next year and requires a vote by the legislature immediately. This would mean real savings for all of us.

There may be a vote before the end of the month but right now we wait on the majority party. By the rules the majority gets to decide when and which bills get voted on in Hartford. Let’s keep the pressure on by asking the democratic majority leaders when we are going to have this vote.

One thing is clear your pressure on the majority party has made a difference. The process though sometimes difficult to navigate does work and you should be applauded for your efforts.

Call the following leaders and ask them to cap the gas tax now.

Governor Dannel P. Malloy
Local: 860-566-4840
Toll-Free 1-800-406-1527
Send email to Governor Malloy

Senate President, Donald Williams
Local 860-240-8614
Toll-free: 1-800-842-1420
Form to mail Senator Williams

Speaker of the House, Christopher Donovan
Local (860) 240-8500
Toll-Free 1-800-842-1902
[email protected]