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Just Say No to Regional Gas Tax

A Cap-and-Trade Program Would Add 5 Cents to 17 Cents per Gallon

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The TCI Program claims it will generate $2 billion annually from fossil fuel suppliers required to purchase pollution allowances from participating Eastern states for use to reduce carbon emissions and invest in clean transportation projects (35% in “underserved communities”). As a benchmark, it takes $2.5 billion in dollars bills laid end-to-end to reach the moon.

Gov. Ned Lamont and his administration are once again looking for another way to impose more taxes on the poor and middle class in Connecticut.

This time it’s a regional gas tax called the Transportation and Climate Initiative that will raise the gas prices an estimated 5 to 17 cents per gallon with the possibility of future increases in upcoming years.

The governor, a Democrat, signed a Memorandum of Understanding on Dec. 21, showing his support for this new tax. The real question is when will Gov. Lamont show his support for the hard-working people of Connecticut?

The residents of this state are tapped out. Adding another tax on top of all the other taxes we pay will do more harm than good. The TCI tax will take over $100 million per year out of Connecticut drivers’ pockets to appease a group of climate activists. The truth is that this initiative will do nothing to actually change the climate of the Earth and to think it will is foolish.

What’s more likely than TCI changing the climate, however, is that it will serve as a back-door tax so Connecticut can continue its spending spree. To that end, the governor tried to implement tolls but failed. This may be a new tax, under a new name with a pie-in-the-sky goal, but it is essentially exactly what tolls would have been — a cash grab for a state that can’t stop taxing and spending.

The average driver in Connecticut already pays a state gasoline tax, state gross receipts tax for oil and a property tax on his or her car — all for the privilege of driving to a job where that same person will work and pay a state income tax, a new Family and Medical Leave tax, property taxes on their home and a sales tax on virtually anything they buy. And that’s not even counting federal taxes.

It may be difficult for a man of means such as Gov. Lamont to understand the struggle of making a mortgage or rent payment, car payments, buying new clothes for your children and putting food on the table, but ignorance and inexperience are no excuse. Gov. Lamont was elected to represent the people of this state, not wealthy activists and elitists hiding in Washington, D.C.

Maybe it’s time Gov. Lamont spent a year or two on a modest income, an income that represents the majority of people trying to live and survive in our state who do not have access to his wealth. This may help him understand why the people can’t afford to pay a penny more.

Our hopes now lie on our elected State Representatives and Senators to vote this new unnecessary tax down. I am hopeful others will join me and contact their elected officials to stop this gas tax increase.

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