Sen. Fasano: “Stalled” Mileage Tax Idea A Victory for Taxpayers; Says GOP Transportation Plan Has No Taxes or Tolls

August 10, 2015

Senate Minority Leader Len Fasano (R-North Haven) today applauded State Senate Democrats for announcing on Friday that their caucus has no appetite to advance the idea of a mileage tax on Connecticut motorists.

“While House Democrats have yet to weigh in on the notion of taxing Connecticut residents by the miles they drive, Senate Democrats did the right thing by permanently parking this ridiculous idea,” Fasano said. “Republicans came out strong against the very thought of a mileage tax because we had seen a news report that Senate Democrat leaders wanted to know more about it and were not ruling out the idea. We urged taxpayers to light up the Democrats’ office phones, and the taxpayers responded in a big way.

“The people are frustrated. They have seen two record-breaking tax hikes in five years that were backed by Democrats and Gov. Malloy. Clearly, they don’t want more taxes. When they heard that the mileage tax was not being ruled out, they spoke out about it and let their elected officials know how they felt.

“Republicans oppose the idea of a mileage tax for a variety of reasons. First, a tax on the number of miles people drive would be highly regressive. Middle and lower middle class families – working families – would feel this tax the hardest. Many of the people we represent drive many miles to get to and from work each day.

“We have also heard from people who, in order to be good environmental stewards, have switched to fuel efficient vehicles, hybrids, and electric cars. They rightly note that if this idea were to become state law, they would be penalized for their proactive efforts to protect and preserve the environment.

“In addition, many find the notion of being tracked by GPS monitoring to be unsettling. They see this as a ‘Big Brother’ idea, where their state government would know about their travels. They see it as a limit on their freedom.

“Republicans appreciate the Governor’s Transportation Finance Panel’s efforts to make our transportation system one that is top-notch. They have a difficult job, but a mileage tax is not and cannot be the solution. I hope House Democrats will soon make their feelings known about this tax.

“In the meantime, I encourage the House and Senate Democrats and Governor’s Transportation Finance Panel to take a look at our Republican no-tax-hike transportation plan. Our plan makes a major investment in transportation without imposing tolls, increasing overall debt or raising taxes. Our transportation plan provides a way to live within our means and simultaneously advance Connecticut for the future. We are happy to answer questions about our plan and look forward to working with Democrat leadership in order to put it in place and move our state forward.”