© 2024 WSHU
NPR News & Classical Music
Play Live Radio
Next Up:
0:00 0:00
Available On Air Stations

As lawmakers approve gas tax holiday, Lamont pushes tax relief agenda

gas pump
Erik Mclean

Governor Ned Lamont made two public appearances to urge the state General Assembly to approve several tax cuts aimed to offset the impact of inflation, as lawmakers took action on a temporary suspension of the state’s 25-cent-a-gallon tax on gasoline on Wednesday.

Lamont’s plan includes reduced motor vehicle taxes, increased property tax credits, restoring full eligibility for the property tax credit, expanding student loan credits and accelerating the planned phase-in of the pensions and annuities exemption from income taxes.

In total, the tax cuts would provide an estimated $336 million in relief to residents.

Lamont, alongside State Revenue Services Commissioner Mark Boughton, Bloomfield Mayor Danielle Wong and Councilmember Kenneth McClary visited Back East Brewing Company to explore the importance of tax relief for small businesses and struggling Connecticut residents.

“I think the governor’s opponent said it doesn’t scratch the surface, your tax proposals,” said McClary, who is the chair of the finance committee in Bloomfield. “But, Governor, as a local elected official who looks at numbers every single day here in the town of Bloomfield, those proposals will get Bloomfield residents out of the hole. It will help us support businesses like this.”

Tax relief has become a hot-button issue between incumbent Governor Lamont, a Democrat, and his Republican challenger Bob Stefanowski.

The war in Ukraine has had an effect on the local economy, with Connecticut residents seeing increased inflation and gas prices over the last month, said Lamont.

“We’re doing everything we can to continue to make Connecticut more affordable,” Lamont said. “I know that this inflation coming out of Ukraine, before that, demand outsourcing supply, is tough. And we’re doing everything we can to help.”

In both of his appearances, Lamont spoke about the importance of hiring Connecticut’s graduating students to keep them in the state. He said Connecticut would provide up to $5,000 for businesses that forgive student loan debt for people who graduated from one of Connecticut’s colleges.

“Anybody that graduates from a Connecticut school, and they take a job with you, you work to forgive their student loans, we’ll pay for half of it,” Lamont said. “I want the very best young people in Connecticut to stay in Connecticut.”

At a later event, the governor spoke about the state General Assembly’s plan to vote Wednesday on a 25-cent cut on gas prices. If the vote passes, residents would see that reduction within the next week. The cut would remain until July 1.

Lamont said Connecticut would be among the first states to react to increasing prices with a gas tax holiday.

“We’ll be, probably, the second state in the country to offer almost immediate gas tax relief,” Lamont said.

Molly is a reporter covering Connecticut. She also produces Long Story Short, a podcast exploring public policy issues across Connecticut.