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State Sen. Len Suzio came to Cheshire on Monday morning as part of a “Cap the Gas Tax” campaign to convince voters that the state needs a limit on the amount of taxes collected on gas throughout the state.
Suzio visited a gas station in Cheshire, along with others in Meriden and Middletown. At each stop, a crowd of supporters joined the Senator, holding signs supporting his idea to put a cap on what he has called the "hidden" gas tax.
“Everywhere I go, taxpayers tell me they are pumped up by this proposal,” Suzio said. “Connecticut motorists are not the only ones who are sick of the increasing pain at the pump. Connecticut gas station owners are sick of it. In Connecticut, we have the highest gas prices because we have the highest gas taxes. One of those taxes is a hidden tax which rises as our gas prices rise. If we cap that tax now, we can save taxpayers as much as 30 cents a gallon by the summer. That tax relief will benefit small businesses as well.”
Suzio's plan calls for the state to put a cap on the gross receipt tax collected from gasoline wholesale when brought into Connecticut. Under Suzio's plan, the state could not continue to escalate that tax percentage when overall prices rise above $3 a gallon.
Suzio noted that gasoline prices have never been higher at this time of the year, and experts say they could reach a record $4.25 a gallon by late April.
Suzio's plan has been derided by some as simply offering "Big Oil" a tax break, since the wholesale gas tax is, technically, a tax on distributors and not directly levied against consumers. However, Suzio has insisted the monetary burden is passed on to taxpayers at the pump, and has circulated numbers suggesting that the tax accounts for a 28 cents per gallon hike at the pump.
“Nothing could be farther from the truth,” Sen. Suzio said, of the Big Oil criticism. “That “Big Oil” excuse was a Big Fib and I would be happy to hold a public debate with anyone who makes that false claim. You know who my plan would benefit? Overburdened Connecticut taxpayers. Isn’t it about time we put them first? Isn’t it about time we stop the excuse-making at the State Capitol and finally provide tax relief?
“The issue here is clear. We are talking about a tax. All taxes are passed on to Connecticut consumers penny for penny. This particular hidden tax rises as the price of gas rises. As the price of gas continues to rise, the state’s hidden tax on gasoline continues to rise as well. The state is reaping a windfall through this sneaky taxation. That’s not fair, that’s why taxpayers and station owners have joined me in the fight to cap this tax.”