Delaying a Vote on Transportation Funding is Evidence Democrats will Seek Tax Increases, Tolls

January 15, 2016

Hartford – Senate Minority Leader Len Fasano (R-North Haven) released the following statement regarding Democrat leaders’ plan to delay the legislature from voting on tolls and tax increases proposed by the Governor’s Transportation Finance Panel until after the November election. Today, the Governor’s panel unveiled a list of ways to pay for the governor’s $100 billion transportation plan, including raising the gas tax and sales tax and installing tolls. According to Senate President Martin Looney, “All of those [funding options] will be on the table for discussion in 2017, assuming the lockbox passes in 2016.”

“The fact that Hartford Democrats are refusing to take a vote on extremely regressive taxes and tolls that hurt the poor and middle class until after the election speaks to their obvious intent to raise taxes to pay for the governor’s transportation plan,” said Fasano. “They don’t want to vote, because they know that their votes supporting new taxes are not what the people of Connecticut want to see. Their intention is to purposely stay silent, get elected, and then raise taxes – just like we saw after the last election.

“I fear that this same strategy will be used to avoid fixing the nearly $400 million hole in next year’s budget. If Democrat lawmakers don’t fix the fiscal year 2017 deficit this legislative session, that leads me to believe the solution they have in mind is one they know the public does not support – more taxes. Over the past five years Connecticut has seen the two largest tax increases in state history. Is the third right around the corner? Sure sounds like it.”

Sen. Fasano also addressed Democrats’ reasoning that a delayed vote would give the public a chance to vote on a constitutional lockbox for transportation funds first.

“Democrat lawmakers initially felt a constitutional amendment to protect transportation funding was unnecessary. Now they refuse to take action until this amendment moves forward? Don’t the Democrats trust themselves? It would take a significant number of Democrat votes and the concurrence of the Democrat governor to take money out of the transportation fund. Therefore, it’s a convenient excuse to avoid an unpopular pre-election vote for tax increases,” said Fasano.