Tolland Legislators Want to Siphon a Taxing Fuel Additive [Tolland Patch]

June 27, 2013

Article as it appeared in the Tolland Patch

Tolland’s legislative contingent is protesting a scheduled hike in the state motor fuel tax.

State Sen. Tony Guglielmo, state Rep. Timothy Ackert and state Rep. Sam Belsito, along with Republican legislators from across the state, are gathering signatures for a petition to fight increases in the state gas tax and diesel fuel tax that are to go in effect July 1.

Motorists can sign an online petition by visiting

“We need to do all we can to spread the word about this increase and prevent this tax hike from taking place. That’s what this petition drive is all about,” Ackert said.

A 16 percent tax increase on gasoline “is unnecessary and highly unjustified, the legislators said.

“The price of gasoline in our state is already one of the highest in the nation, and it is driving our economy further away from recovery.” Belsito said.

The gas tax in Connecticut is already about 22 cents higher than in neighboring states like Massachusetts and the July 1 gas tax hike would raise prices at the pump another 4 cents per gallon, the legislators said.

“People are struggling to pay their bills and this is another added financial headache,” Guglielmo said. “If we can successfully stop this tax hike it will be a victory for the hard working people of Connecticut.”

According to a news release distributed by the legislators, the fueled tax increase, called the petroleum gross receipts tax, is “a hidden state tax on gasoline that motorists pay above and beyond the state (25 cents) and federal (18.4 cents) excise taxes.”

The tax is a percentage of the wholesale price of gasoline and is scheduled to increase from 7 percent to 8.1 percent on July 1, the legislators said.

According to the Connecticut Energy Marketers Association, the average wholesale price of gasoline in Connecticut is currently $2.82/gallon and Connecticut state taxes on a gallon of gasoline total 45 cents, the legislators said.

At the same time, Connecticut’s Diesel Fuel Tax, which is based on the petroleum gross receipts tax rate, is scheduled to increase by 3.5 cents per gallon, which will increase trucking and transportation costs, “causing a ripple effect that will increase consumer costs on everything from groceries and clothing, to construction, as well as other goods and services,” the legislators said.

Legislative Republicans offered plans this legislative session in committee and in both the State Senate and State House of Representatives to eliminate the tax hike and they proposed several options to replace the lost revenue, “none of which were accepted by the majority party,” the legislators said.

A petition drive this week at the Tolland Mobil on Merrow Road garnered nearly 50 signatures in two hours, the legislators said.

As of Tuesday, more than 12,000 people statewide had signed the online petition, they said.

“The next step is to present the petition to the Governor in the hopes public pressure will enable him to call lawmakers back to Hartford for a special vote to repeal the tax hike,” the legislators said in a news release.