LETTER: Lower Gas Tax Instead of Instituting Tolls in CT

Submitted by Patrick Sasser, Founder of No Tolls CT.org

Within a matter of days after the  November 3 election the word tolls appeared in news articles around the State of Connecticut.   

Some people’s obsession with tolls has not abated.  Even a newspaper editorial appeared  begging for the State to install tolls as soon as possible.

A few weeks later an article was written addressing the States’ gas tax and how this may be the time to raise the  tax since Connecticut is slightly below the national average and ranked 15th in the Country.    

The suggestion begs the question, should we aspire to have the highest taxes in the nation.  The democratically controlled legislature has answered this question for decades and has failed the people of Connecticut.   Given  the pandemic  this is probably the worse time to  consider raising any taxes.

I sat  at a public hearing and listened to State Representative Joe De La Cruz (D) from Groton/New London speak to the transportation committee about why he supports tolls in our state.  He  bragged about how he and his wife go shopping in Rhode Island because it’s cheaper, he stated he continuously buys gas in Rhode Island because it is cheaper.  He stated the people who live in the middle of the State would be shocked to find out how many people along the borders  buy fuel in the cheaper states.    

My point of mentioning this is simple; our elected officials may begin talks about making Connecticut more expensive by raising the gas tax and causing  Representative De La Cruz and others to continue to cross the borders and buy gas  in a cheaper state.  How does this make any economic sense?  Is does not. 

Here is a simple idea, let’s lower our gas taxes so Representative De La Cruz and others will  buy gas in Connecticut.  Let’s lower our gas taxes so people in neighboring states come  to Connecticut to fuel up. Let’s lower our gas taxes so the trucks driving  through stop and gas up here. Let’s make Connecticut affordable again one step at a time so we can draw businesses back,  create jobs and grow the economy and tax base.  This will ultimately get  Connecticut out of its budget crisis.   

The answer is not more taxes. Instead of raising the gas tax, the Governor should call upon the state auditors to conduct an audit into why Connecticut spends more per mile on transportation projects than other states.   It is time to fix the Connecticut economy and its inequitable tax structure. 

Patrick Sasser
Founder of No Tolls CT.org