Residents blast state's gas tax increase
John Barry/ NorwichBulletin.com
Huerecy Hallback, of Norwich, fills his gas tank Sunday at Cumberland Farms on Route 12 in Norwich. Hallback said he fills up in Rhode Island whenever he’s able to because of high taxes in Connecticut.
Drivers filling their gas tanks Sunday had harsh words about a state fuel tax increase that kicks in today.
“I’m against it,” Huerecy Hallback, of Norwich, said. He was buying gas at Cumberland Farms on Route 12 in Norwich. “Connecticut already has the highest taxes there are.”
Hallback said he buys as little gasoline as possible in Connecticut and tries to fill his tank whenever he is in Rhode Island, instead.
The petroleum gross receipts tax, which is a percentage of the wholesale price of gasoline and is charged to companies distributing petroleum products in Connecticut, increases from 7 percent to 8.1 percent, raising prices by about 4 cents per gallon.
It’s the last in a series of yearly increases required by a 2005 law intended to raise money for road and bridge repairs.
The tax is in addition to the 25-cents-per-gallon state tax on gas and the 18.4 cents-per-gallon federal gas tax. Additionally, the state’s diesel tax increases by 3.5 cents per gallon.
The average price in Connecticut for a gallon of regular gasoline is $3.77, according to auto club AAA, compared with $3.52 in Massachusetts and $3.60 in Rhode Island.
“I’m sure I’ll be paying more,” said Sue Dattilio, who was buying gas at a Citgo station on Route 2 in Preston. Dattilio, who lives in Glastonbury with her family, is on vacation in Charleston Beach in Rhode Island and planned to drive back and forth five times so her son could play with a youth baseball all-star team.
She said Rhode Island prices weren’t much lower than the $3.64 per gallon she paid in Preston.
Fred Williams, of Preston, said he was buying just enough gas at the Citgo station to get to Rhode Island.
He said he was fed up with the high cost to live in the state and plans to move out.
“Watch my vapor trail,” Williams said.
“Ridiculous. People who live in Connecticut are already overtaxed compared to the rest of the nation,” said Diana Weigel, of Lisbon, whose husband, Alan Weigel, was buying diesel at a Henny Penny on Route 12 in Lisbon.
Weigel said her family plans to leave the state as well.
“I think Connecticut takes enough of our money,” Alison Thayer, of Preston said, noting it cost her $100 to fill the tank of her SUV.
“The taxes are too high already,” said Sheila Dierkmann of Putnam, who stopped to buy gas at Chucky’s Mobil in Montville.
“How can a state that’s 50 by 100 miles possibly have one of the highest gas taxes in the country?” Todd Esterley, of East Lyme, said, noting many of the state’s roads are in poor shape.