Republican lawmakers support petition against Connecticut gas tax hike [New Haven Register]

June 24, 2013

Article as it appeared in the New Haven Register on June 21, 2013

By Luther Turmelle

Four state Republican lawmakers whose legislative districts include Greater New Haven towns are taking part in a petition signing campaign to head off the largest gas tax hike in Connecticut history.

State Sens. Joe Markley, Kevin Kelly and Art Linares, along with state Rep. Dave Rutigliano, will be at area gas stations Monday urging customers to sign a petition urging a delay or repeal of the tax, which is scheduled to take effect July 1. The tax increase would add about 4 cents per gallon to the 47 cents per gallon Connecticut charges for gasoline.

“Governor (Dannel) Malloy is not using gas tax revenues to fix roads and bridges as was originally intended,” Markley said in a statement. “Instead, the money is being used to fund the growth of government bureaucracy. Demand that this gas tax hike not go through.”

Markley, whose 16th district includes Cheshire, will be at the Cheshire Gulf Station at 1125 Highland Ave. from 4 to 6 p.m.

Linares will be in Westbrook at the Mobil Station at 198 Essex Road during the same hours. The freshman state senator’s 33rd district includes Clinton, Deep River, Essex, Old Saybrook and Westbrook.

“This gas tax hike will continue to take our state in the wrong direction. It will hurt the people in our communities who can least afford it, like seniors who are on fixed incomes and families and businesses who are barely making ends meet,” Linares said in a statement.

Kelly and Rutigliano will be at the Food Bag Citgo Station, which is located at 442 River St., Shelton, also Monday from 4 to 6 p.m. Kelly’s 21st District includes Seymour, Shelton and Stratford while Rutigliano’s 123rd District covers Trumbull.

The Republicans say that Connecticut’s gas tax hike, which is based on the wholesale price of the fuel, is already 22 cents per gallon higher than neighboring Massachusetts.

The petition drive by Connecticut GOP lawmakers had 4,043 signatures as of Friday at 5 p.m., according to the Axe The Gas Tax web page on the state Senate Republicans website.

The petition signing campaign to reduce or eliminate the state’s gas tax was made popular last year by then-13th District State Sen. Len Suzio. Suzio lost his re-election bid last November.