(News 8 Video) Sen. Linares: “I just want to prevent the gasoline tax from going up.”

July 1, 2013

Article as it appeared on WTNH.com

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NEW HAVEN, Conn. (WTNH) — You’re paying a few more pennies per gallon at the pump, and it has nothing to do with the price of the fuel. It’s all about the tax.

The tax hike that started today is just one percent more per gallon, but these days that’s about 4 cents a gallon.

“Not good, right,” said News 8’s Kent Pierce.

“Not really, but what can you do? You just gotta pay it. You gotta drive,” said William Staton, of New Haven.

“It’s a burden more than anything else. You just say when is it going to stop,” said Antonio Occhibove, of Wallingford.

It’s a burden that can add up for a busy mom.

“Especially in the summer time, I have two young children and you’re counting every penny and you’re trying to stretch every dollar,” said Daniela Balbano, of New Haven. “It just adds to the frustration. It’s one more thing we have to factor in…”

That’s just the reason State Senator Art Linares fought against the tax increase.

“Increasing the gasoline tax will only hurt families, small business, senior citizens that will certainly have a problem with this tax increase,” said Sen. Art Linares.

Now the Senator didn’t vote for the tax increase, in fact he wasn’t even in office when they voted on it, because that happened back in 2005 when the economy was doing much better and gas was much cheaper.

The idea was to put the money towards improving roads and bridges, but now the state needs the money from the increase to go into the general fund. The Governor says more fuel efficient cars mean the state is getting less and less money from gasoline taxes.

“We’re undertaking a long hard look at what we need to do and how we can pay for it,” said Gov. Dannel Malloy.

He estimates the average family will pay an additional $18 or $19 a year from this tax. It seemed okay 8 years ago when a republican governor signed it into law.

“I don’t care whose idea it was, why it’s happening, whose fault it is,” said Sen. Linares, “I just want to prevent the gasoline tax from going up.”

He got 16,000 people to sign an online petition to try to get the Governor to stop the tax increase. However, that failed. Now he’s hoping for a special legislative session to repeal the gas tax hike.