CT’s Witkos urges tax shield on oil-based consumables [Hartford Business Journal]

September 14, 2012

Article as it appeared in the Hartford Business Journal on September 14, 2012

A Connecticut state senator is urging the governor to deal quickly with a quirk in state law that forces retailers to impose a gross-receipts surcharge on Vaseline, motor oil and other consumer goods containing petroleum.

State Sen. Kevin Witkos, a Republican whose District 8 covers Avon and Canton, among other towns, said he called Friday on Gov. Dannel P. Malloy to exempt those and other non-motor fuel products from potential double taxation.

Witkos said the current list of exemptions to the surcharge don’t cover many consumer items made from petroleum byproducts.

Starting next July 1, he said, the state’s gross receipts tax climbs to 8.1 percent, which combined with the state sales tax, means a combined levy of 14.45 percent on those goods.

“After recently learning about this requirement, I am concerned that the double taxation on important consumer products, such as a quart of motor oil, could harm both the consumer and the businesses that offer these products,” Witkos said in a statement Friday.

“I shared my concerns with the governor today with the hope that these products will continue to remain effectively exempt from the gross receipts tax,” he said.

Witkos vowed to press exemptions legislatively if the executive branch permits widespread enforcement of the gross-tax receipts law to proceed.

Malloy’s office did not immediately respond Friday to emails seeking comment.