Lawmakers in Connecticut have approved a controversial bill that will impose new fees on truck drivers in the state.
“An Act Concerning A Highway Use Fee” has been passed by the Senate this week by a narrow 22-14 margin after the House of Representatives approved it with an 88-59 vote on Tuesday, June 9.
Fees on truckers will be calculated based on the tractor-trailer’s weight and the number of miles traveled on Connecticut highways and public roads.
If Lamont signs the legislation into law, it will go into effect as of Jan. 1, 2023.
Rates begin at 2.5 cents per mile for vehicles between 26,000 and 28,000 pounds, to 17.5 cents per mile for vehicles weighing more than 80,000 pounds. No vehicle weighing less than 26,000 pounds will be subject to any additional fees.
The bill requires carriers to maintain a monthly list of all eligible motor vehicles it operated or caused to be operated during that month. Those lists must be maintained for a minimum of four years and be made available to the Department of Revenue Services.
“Why impose a fee on trucks? Because at this moment, Connecticut taxpayers are subsidizing the enormous wear and tear that large tractor-trailers have on our highways,” Sen. Will Haskell said in a statement. “Just maintaining and repairing the damage of large trucks costs us an estimated $95 million per year.”
Joe Sculley, the President of the Motor Transport Association of Connecticut, issued a lengthy statement following the passage of the bill by lawmakers, condemning the legislation.
“The House of Representatives passed the truck mileage tax tonight, but not before voting to exempt the heaviest trucks on the road – dairy trucks – from paying the tax,” he stated.
“Those trucks operate at 100,000 pounds, while the limit for all other trucks is 80,000 pounds. This just goes to show that the truck mileage tax is not actually about damage to the roads, it’s just about money. Lighter-weight trucks will be subsidizing heavier trucks that will be exempt from the tax.”
Sculley went on to speculate that “Connecticut is never going to see the money predicted for this bill, and this tax scheme will fail.”
“Proponents think that all they have to do is compare miles reported under the interstate agreement known as IFTA (International Fuel Tax Agreement) against miles reported under this new mileage tax,” he continued.
“They don’t realize that (one), out-of-state trucking companies report their IFTA miles to their base state, and that Connecticut does not have access to those records, and (two), IFTA includes single-unit trucks, which this tax does not. Connecticut cannot do apples to oranges comparison for purposes of enforcing this new tax.”
The complete legislation can be found here.
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