Sen. Boucher: Finally Common Sense Prevails

March 28, 2012

Senator Toni Boucher (R-Wilton) today released the following statement re: SB 457, Legislation to cap the gas tax.

“Connecticut is the only state in the nation with a petroleum gross receipts tax which is a percentage tax on top of an already high state excise tax of 25 cents. It is gratifying to find the majority party coming together with the Republicans to pass its suggested proposal to cap an onerous, increasing extra tax which is layered on top of Connecticut’s gas tax.

“Although this percentage tax should not be a part of Connecticut’s tax structure as it has not been used for its original purpose and makes us less competitive as a state, it is a small step in the right direction for our beleaguered taxpayers.

“That being said, the 7 percent gross receipt tax will be applied to a $3.00 capped price of wholesale gas price only until June 30, 2012.

“The 7 percent tax however, is still scheduled to increase to 8 percent as of July 1, 2013 and could severely diminish the tax benefit just achieved in this legislative session.

“An amendment we proposed to also cap that scheduled rate of increase failed on a straight party line vote. Many residents were originally unaware of this issue and outraged to learn that this hidden tax was a part of Connecticut’s tax policy.

“The public should be gratified that their voice was heard as over 200 of my constituents called and emailed me with their strong support of capping or completely eliminating this tax. They should stay vigilant and weigh in as the scheduled increase set to go into effect on July 1, 2013 approaches. I will continue to fight the increase as well.

“Consumers should see some relief at the pump, small as it may be, after today’s meeting to reduce this portion of the gas tax. The relief comes just as gas prices reach historically high levels. Gasoline prices are predicted to go even higher this summer due to a persistent threat of military action between Israel and Iran. The issue of gas prices will be with us for sometime as the debate rages between how to supply our ever increasing need for fuel and searching for economically feasible alternative energy sources.

“Demand for energy has never been as high as it is now because of the continual introduction of new technology advances that permeate our society. One thing we all agree on is that we need to relieve our country of its dependency on foreign sources of energy and look internally to resolve this major national security issue.

“I also would like to applaud fellow State Senator Len Suzio for championing and leading the charge on such an important consumer issue.”