Connecticut lawmakers want to ensure the Department of Transportation does not decide on its own to contribute to a multi-state study into the possibility of taxing motorists based on the amount of miles they drive.
The Senate voted unanimously yesterday in favor of legislation requiring the agency to seek approval from the General Assembly before spending any state money on studies and other activities looking into a mileage-based user fee.
The bill now awaits action in the House of Representatives.
Wilton Senator Toni Boucher says the legislation officially puts an end to this debate. She said the state doesn’t need to study something that Connecticut taxpayers are against.
Connecticut was awarded a federal grant to launch a pilot mileage tax program so long as the state invested a matching $300,000. Boucher called it disturbing that, as a co-chair the Transportation Committee, she learned about this grant from an article in the Washington Post and not from the DOT or the administration.
To add insult to injury, Boucher pointed out that it ignored the Transportation committee's rejection of the 2015 Governor’s Transportation Finance Task Force's mileage driven proposal.
Because such a tax would involve some way of monitoring driving activity, Boucher says it not only represented another tax on an already over-taxed public, it represented a government intrusion into their lives.
She called for House passage, saying that Connecticut can not become the first state in the nation to monitor taxpayers’ every move and tax them on every mile they drive.