Submitted by Joe O’Leary.
HARTFORD (March 23, 2022) – On a day when regular gasoline prices hovered around $4 a gallon across Connecticut, state Senator Norm Needleman (D-Essex) voted today to cut Connecticut’s gas tax by 25 cents a gallon for the next three months – saving Connecticut motorists an estimated $90 million between now and June 30.
Sen. Needleman also voted today to create a second sales-tax free week on clothing and shoes valued at under $100 to take place in April; the move is expected to save Connecticut consumers $3 million.
Today’s vote also saves Connecticut commuters an additional $8.1 million, providing free public bus service transportation in Connecticut through June 30.
“Anyone who’s driving or shopping right now is feeling some pain in the wallet,” said Sen. Needleman. “It’s important for us to do what we can to provide relief. I’m glad we are approving these steps that will benefit residents across the state. I plan to continue working with my colleagues to find more ways to potentially ease current challenges.”
Sen. Needleman approved the combined $101.3 million in savings for Connecticut residents today by joining the bipartisan vote for House Bill 5501, “AN ACT SUSPENDING CERTAIN GAS TAXES AND SALES AND USE TAXES ON CERTAIN CLOTHING AND ALLOCATING FUNDS FOR FREE PUBLIC BUS SERVICES.” The bill had passed the House of Representatives earlier in the day and now heads to Governor Ned Lamont for his signature into law.
House Bill 5501 requires retail gas dealers to reduce their pump prices by 25 cents per gallon or face charges of unfair or deceptive trades practices. The $90 million gas tax cut will not affect Connecticut’s General Fund budget – which is now enjoying a $1.7 billion surplus – or its record-setting $3 billion Rainy Day Fund; the money will only affect the state’s Special Transportation Fund, where gasoline taxes are routinely deposited.
The April sales tax holiday on clothing under $100 is designed to provide families with economic relief in the face of rising inflation, and it will be in addition to Connecticut’s annual tax-free week on apparel that traditionally takes place in August. Under sales-tax free week, clothing and shoes with retail prices under $100 will be exempt from the state sales tax of 6.35%.
Items included in the sales tax holiday include socks, hats, belts, blouses, diapers, dresses, employee uniforms, cress or work gloves, golf jackets and shirts, jeans, sweat suits, underwear, jackets, scarves, many types of shoes, sleepwear and swimsuits. Items that remain taxable include specialty boots for fishing, mountain climbing, skiing and firefighting; specialty gloves including athletic, garden, golf, tennis and rubber gloves; handbags; headbands; ice skates; martial arts attire and sports uniforms and helmets; safety equipment; specialty shoes including ballet, bicycle, bowling, football, golf, track and jazz shoes; ski pants; wallets; and wet suits.