It took a number of years, but Republicans today succeeded in convincing their Democratic counterparts to cap the gross receipts tax on wholesale gasoline, a move that will restrict the rising costs of fuel and provide some relief to Connecticut motorists who have been paying among the highest prices per gallon in the nation. Representative T. R. Rowe (R-123) was pleased that bipartisan agreement was reached on the bill.
“Unfortunately the State of Connecticut has had a double tax on gasoline for a long time,” said Rep. T. R. Rowe. “The hidden gross receipts tax has been heaped upon our flat gas tax and when the price of gas went up, this hidden tax increased along with it assuring extra pain at the pumps. This is long overdue, and I am pleased that we have finally convinced our colleagues across the aisle that people in this state need relief.”
Republicans put forth various forms of gas tax relief 17 times over the last five years but at each turn their proposals were rejected. But as the cost of fuel has jumped this year, and public outrage escalated over the high cost of fuel, finally the majority leadership changed their minds and adopted our long standing proposals.
The legislation will cap the 7 percent gross receipts tax once the wholesale price of gas reaches $3 per gallon. The gross receipts tax, a hidden tax on the wholesale cost of gasoline in addition to the standard 25-cent state gas tax, climbs as the price of gasoline does.
The bill passed both the House and Senate unanimously. Republicans also succeeded in getting the majority leadership to make the cap permanent and not expire after one year as they originally proposed.
But Rowe also wanted to limit the tax at 7 percent to prevent a scheduled increase on July 1, 2013 to 8.1 percent which will cost motorists $55 million next year. That amendment failed largely along party lines 94-53.
The bill will now head to Governor Dannel P. Malloy for his signature.