NEW HAVEN, Conn. (WTNH) — Connecticut’s gas tax is set to return on Dec. 1, but Gov. Ned Lamont is considering extending it to help drivers.
“I think we’re going to see what we can afford and we’re going to model this out,” Lamont said.
When it returns, the state tax would add an average of 30 cents per gallon. The holiday would save drivers about $5 per tank for the holiday season.
The tax was paused on April 1. It mainly goes to fixing roads. During this seven month break federal COVID-19 dollars have been used in its place.
“We need help in Connecticut,” Michael Fox, the executive director of the Gasoline and Automotive Service Dealers of America, said.
Fox predicts gas prices will be high for the next two years.
While it is a flat 25-cent tax, the math isn’t as clear at the pump.
“When it goes back up it goes back up more than 25 cents and people say ‘Why? Twenty-five cents is 25 cents,’ but we have additional costs when the price goes up, one is credit card fees,” Fox said.
The average price for a gallon of gas in Connecticut was $3.78 Friday, compared to the national average $3.79, according to AAA.
For Uber drivers like Armando Arias, it adds up. He fills his tank every day, which costs as much as $50 each time. He is hoping the tax break is extended through the end of the year.
“I have to do what I have to do, but it’s killing me,” Arias said. “I just have to put more hours and drive more hours, kill my car, take time away from my family. I’d rather go home but I got to make up that money.”
GASDA advocated for the gas tax holiday earlier this year, and wants to see it continue.
“Certainly if it doesn’t happen three weeks before Christmas, we are going to be considered those gougers, because one day those prices are going to go up about 27 to 30 cents,” Fox said. “When you talk about going from used to being able to fill your car up for $40, now it costs a hundred. That’s a difference between food on the table, and that raise at work doesn’t really mean anything.”
A tax break extension would require a special session for the state legislature, which is not scheduled to reconvene until January.