Updated: Tuesday, 19 Mar 2013, 7:37 PM EDT
Published : Tuesday, 19 Mar 2013, 4:58 PM EDT
HARTFORD, Conn. (WTNH) -- At the State Capitol some are pushing for a new tax that they say will help you save money in the long run. It's aimed at the hundreds of thousands of Connecticut homeowners that heat their homes with oil.
The Governor says he wants no new taxes but others say this isn't really a tax.
More than half the people in the State of Connecticut will stay warm tonight by burning home heating oil.
"We already tax businesses on heating oil. This tax is aimed one-hundred percent at the consumer and the homeowner," said Kate Childs of Tuxis-Ohr's Fuel in Meriden.
"Heating oil is being unfairly singled out and the people who use it and the people who use it are being singled out and they don't have any opportunity to switch, in most cases," said Peter Aziz of Bantam Fuel in Bantam.
Home heating oil dealers from across the state came to the Capitol today to urge lawmakers to vote against a proposal that would tax home heating oil.
It would start July 1 at a penny-and-a-half a gallon and hike to 3-and-a-half cents a gallon over the next two years.
Those pushing for the tax say homeowners using heating oil will benefit by continuing to get low cost energy audits that help them lower the amount of fuel they use. That's what the tax would pay for.
"In other states, just to have the audit done without the full service, it can be 3 to 4-hundred dollars. Right now people that heat with gas and electricity pay 75," said Raquel Kennedy of Victory Energy Solutions.
That's because the fee is already charged on electric and gas bills but the heating oil dealers say they already do a lot of this work for their customers.
"We have lowered the average home owner's consumption by forty percent in the last forty years and we continue to do that," said Clay Bassett of Northfield Fuel in Greenwich.
"Some of the things like the rebates for insulation, the equipment replacement, will not be available for those oil heat customers," said Douglas Cahill of Competitive Resources.
"Do you think this argument that because this fund has been raided in the past, what's to keep them from raiding it again," asked News 8's Mark Davis.
"There's nothing that keeps the legislature from raiding any fund," said Democratic Sen. Gary LeBeau, Commerce Committee.
That's what has happened to this fund in the past. Lawmakers who face tight state budgets end up using this so-called 'dedicated fund' for something else and the programs it was intended for get starved for cash.