Consumer services

Connecticut diesel tax to increase 9 cents on July 1

Gasoline and diesel prices as of June 15, 2022 Credit: Photo by Christine Stuart

Connecticut’s diesel fuel tax will increase by 9 cents on July 1, the state’s tax services commissioner told lawmakers in a letter Wednesday, a legal deadline for the agency to announce the impact of an adjustment. annual.

The change, determined since 2007 by a formula based on the wholesale price of diesel, will raise the diesel tax to 49.2 cents per gallon. The change represents a 23% increase over the current tax. Barring legislative action, it will remain at this rate until it is adjusted again on July 1, 2023.

Connecticut’s average diesel fuel price was $6.17 a gallon on Wednesday, according to AAA.

The Tax Services Department waited until the June 15 deadline to make the announcement, which came Wednesday in a letter to leaders of the Legislature’s Revenue and Surety Committee.

“Pursuant to Conn. Gen. Stat. § 12-458h, the Commissioner of Tax Services is required, no later than June 15, 2022, to calculate the applicable tax rate per gallon of diesel fuel for the fiscal year commencing June 1, 2022. July 2022. Consistent with this legal obligation, I hereby notify you that effective July 1, 2022, the diesel fuel tax rate will be 49.2 cents per gallon,” Commissioner Mark Boughton wrote.

State policymakers declined to include the diesel tax in an ongoing suspension of the gasoline excise tax passed this year in response to record fuel prices and inflation. In recent weeks, Republicans have sought to pressure lawmakers into calling a special session to halt the increase.

Democratic lawmakers and Gov. Ned Lamont said the diesel tax is impacting out-of-state truckers.

“You know the diesel tax, let’s say half of it is paid by out-of-state tractor-trailer trucks, many of which don’t stop in the state they keep going through,” Lamont said. last week. “I like to do tax cuts that really focus on middle class people here in our state.”

Republican lawmakers said the governor did not understand the impact of the tax hike on small businesses and consumer services.

“I don’t know how they can claim this is being paid for by a majority of people who are out of state,” said Sen. Craig Miner, R-Litchfield.

He said Democrats can talk about out-of-state truckers all they want, “It’s not about out-of-state truckers. This is the cost of doing business in Connecticut.

At a press conference last week, Joe Sculley, president of the Motor Transport Association of Connecticut, argued that the rising cost of diesel will increase the cost of all goods transported by truckers.

“Their customers are grocery stores, gas stations and clothing stores, so your food is going to cost more, your gas is going to cost more, and your clothes are going to cost more,” Sculley said.

Meanwhile, Rep. Sean Scanlon, a Democrat from Guilford who co-chairs the Legislature’s tax drafting committee, argued Connecticut’s policies are unlikely to have a significant impact on the inflation that’s been hitting. felt all over the country.

“Look, the whole country is going through this. These big companies aren’t going to cut costs here in Connecticut just because we’re doing something that no other state is doing,” Scanlon said. “It’s a national issue, but if we can give Connecticut drivers a break like we did on the gas tax side, I think that will help. We just need to determine if it’s responsible or possible.

Earlier this year, the legislature reduced the excise tax on gasoline by 25 cents per gallon. The tax holiday lasts until December 1.

In a statement Wednesday, Republican gubernatorial candidate Bob Stefanowski reacted to the increase by blaming Lamont and President Joe Biden for creating the spike in inflation felt around the world.

“Higher costs for goods mean higher inflation and an even more expensive state. I urge Governor Lamont to suspend all state gasoline and diesel taxes to help residents through the current crisis that he and President Biden have created,” Stefanowski said.