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Connecticut lawmakers approve a gas tax holiday

Jessica Hill
Connecticut State Assembly

Connecticut drivers can expect some relief from high gas prices by next month. The state House of Representatives voted unanimously to suspend a 25 cent-a-gallon tax on gasoline for three months beginning in April. The bill is also expected to pass in the Senate and has the support of Governor Ned Lamont.

Speaker Matt Ritter said the bipartisan support is the result of prudent fiscal discipline that has helped the state grow its rainy-day and special transportation funds.

“We have had the discipline for four years that has allowed us to do this. We are not touching the rainy-day fund. We still have a billion-dollar surplus on top of that. We are doing the right thing and we are giving relief not because it is politically popular, although it might be, because we can,” he said.

Lawmakers also passed a sales tax holiday on clothes for the week of April 10. And they approved free bus service for three months. These offer some temporary relief, but they are the first of a number of tax cuts lawmakers are considering this year, said Ritter.

“This is the opening salvo in what we believe will be a tax reduction budget. So this is March 22 and we have more to come in the next four weeks,” he said.

Connecticut drivers would appreciate the temporary relief, said House Republican Minority Leader Vincent Candelora.

“To help make sure that as they come out of COVID they still have the ability to get around the state for work and pleasure,” Candelora said.

Lawmakers are also considering Lamont’s tax relief proposals that include reduced motor vehicle taxes, increased property tax credits and expanding student loan credits.

Republicans expect to introduce proposals to reduce sales taxes.

As WSHU Public Radio’s award-winning senior political reporter, Ebong Udoma draws on his extensive tenure to delve deep into state politics during a major election year.