NORTH STONINGTON, Conn. (WTNH) — Diesel fuel prices are under $6 a gallon in North Stonington, but in many other parts of Connecticut, it is more than $6 a gallon. There is a growing concern in the struggling trucking industry that the number will go even higher on July 1, when the state’s diesel fuel tax rate goes into effect.
Agricultural producers are getting a bit of a break from the expected price hike.
Gov. Ned Lamont visited the Jonathan Edwards Winery in North Stonington on Friday to talk about the diesel fuel tax exemption for agricultural producers and the farm wine manufacturer sales tax exemption for purchases related to production.
“Those two things right out of the gate are sort of helping hands to keep us efficient,” Jonathan Edwards said.
The Jonathan Edwards Winery has a few tractors and trucks, so like many farms, it depends on diesel.
“You have to make some tough decisions about how many laps around the vineyard you’re going to do with your tractors and things like that,” Edwards said.
The state diesel fuel tax is currently just over 40 cents a gallon. Next week, the Department of Revenue Services will announce the new rate effective on July 1.
Part of that rate is variable driven by the price of wholesale diesel fuel, which has gone up over the past year, leading many people to believe the tax will also go up.
The governor gave no indication he would halt the diesel fuel tax hike expected this summer.
“I’m trying to focus on other things we can do beyond the $650 million tax cut and that will directly impact those small businesses,” Lamont said. “They’ll benefit from that and we got to do more and that’s what we’re doing right now.”
“You have to remember that Connecticut does not have a highway use tax or highway use fee for in-state trucking companies or those small delivery companies nor do we have tolls,” said Mark Boughton, Department of Revenue Services commissioner.
Boughton said they will continue to monitor the situation.