Monday, May 14, 2007

House GOP Pushes for 'Gas Tax Holiday'

How would you like to save between $3.30 and $5.36 every time you fill your car at the gas pump? You can if the legislature approves a new "Gas Tax Holiday" proposed by the House GOP today which would suspend the state's 25-cent gas tax between Memorial Day and Labor Day.

House Republicans, with yet another taxpayer-friendly initiative this session, are aiming to add this proposal to their 'No Tax Increase' budget which they unveiled last month.

Last week the General Assembly's non-partisan Office of Fiscal Analysis revised their revenue projections for this year, showing a $220 million jump in projected surplus funds, raising the total surplus figures to $846 million. The GOP budget spends $619 million of the surplus, and this new proposal would cost the state approximately $120 million, keeping their budget well under the new surplus figures.

Connecticut currently charges 25 cents per gallon in gasoline taxes. We have the third-highest combined federal and state gas tax figures at 55.4 cents per gallon.
Representative Kevin Witkos (R-Canton) proposed this measure last year, and unfortunately it went nowhere. This year, the new House GOP have adopted it, and are once again standing up for taxpayers.

So far, the only cheap gas Connecticut residents have gotten has been steaming out of House Speaker Jim Amann's wryly pursed mouth. Lowering fuel prices and combating high prices at the pump has always been on his meaningless short-list of talking point platitudes. Where, for instance, is his magnificent 'Energize Connecticut' plan that he promised we would have in January? It's still a completely fictional plan that no one has seen.

It can't help that his diminutive Energy Chairman, Rep. Steve Fontana (D-North Haven) has been spending all his time trying to save elephants from getting bullhooked instead of working on a bill to address energy costs.

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