HARTFORD, Conn. — There are plans underway at the state Capitol to provide relief for Connecticut residents as gas prices increase amid the war in Ukraine and as overall inflation persists.
Gov. Ned Lamont announced Monday he has proposed some tax holidays to lawmakers.
One break will be a gas tax holiday, providing residents some relief on the 25 cent gas tax. If passed, which Lamont said he hopes will be passed as soon as this week, it will remain in effect through June 30.
The June 30 end date is there because if the state went past the date, it would be in violation of the American Rescue Plan funds Connecticut has access to. There is also the state budget surplus they can tap into.
"I’d like to see if we can get that done on a bipartisan basis to provide immediate relief for Connecticut drivers at the pump," Lamont said.
Drivers are feeling the pain at the pump.
"It’s too high," Urmi Thusa, a Newington resident said. "Now I’m searching everywhere, where is it cheaper?"
Regular gas was $4.24 at BJ's Gas in West Hartford Monday evening. A man there said he paid nearly $100 dollars to fill up their tank.
“I can’t recall paying this much for gas before, ever, so not liking this at all," Everton Blake, a Bristol resident said. "I mean, it would help. 25 cents, that’s what roughly, 5 or 6 dollars off so I’ll take it, absolutely.
Some drivers we spoke with Monday said they're concerned gas stations could just raise their prices if the state gives customers a break, essentially offsetting the tax relief, but House Republican Leader Vincent Candelora addressed the topic at a news conference Monday afternoon.
“What we’re just confirming is making sure that the price gouging laws that we put into effect in 2012 will actually extend to the excise tax as well so we make sure that any cut at the pumps that are provided, actually gets to the consumer," he said.
State Senator Kevin Kelly is calling the tax relief proposals a step in the right direction.
"I think this is a step forward to bringing much-needed relief at the gas pump," he said.
The state could also hold a sales-tax-free week in April. There will also be the annual tax-free week in August.
"We chose April because A: We can afford to do it with the surplus. B: I think right now with the incredibly high inflation across the board we want to give people a bit of relief we can give them a 6.35 percent relief for a week in April," Lamont said.
There are also talks of making rides on public buses free of charge in April.
If and when all of these proposed tax breaks will go into effect depend on when lawmakers are able to discuss and bring this to the floor.
Lamont is hoping for bipartisan cooperation to put these tax holidays in effect.
Leah Myers is a digital content producer at FOX61 News. She can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org
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