HARTFORD, Conn. (WTNH) — After weeks of dodging questions about a state-funded study on the so-called ‘mileage tax‘ the Malloy administration now appears to be embracing that study.
Two weeks ago, we first reported that the DOT was paying for a study of the ‘mileage tax’ idea with several other states. For more than a year, Governor Malloy has been traveling around the state promoting his vision for a $100 billion, 30-year highway rebuild.Related Content: DOT to study ‘Mileage Tax’
No one has ever disputed that the state’s road and bridge infrastructure is outdated, especially along the shoreline heading to New York. But the Malloy Administration has persistently dodged questions about one funding mechanism that his own transportation advisory board recommended be considered to help pay for it.
Two weeks ago when News 8 first reported that the Connecticut DOT was joining other states to study the concept of charging you according to the number of miles you drive, the administration punted again. Now the Governor appears to be embracing the $300,000 study on the so-called ‘mileage tax’ saying, “Do we wait and pretend? Are we ostriches and we’re not going to understand what the options are?”Related Content: Connecticut Senate President wants to know more about mileage tax
The Governor points out that with cars and trucks getting better and better mileage, and with growing numbers of electric cars on the road, the state’s tax on gasoline is producing less and less every year. It’s the prime funding mechanism to pay for road and bridge building.
“Twenty years from now, in all probability, our gas and oil tax revenue will be half what it is today,” said Malloy.Related Content: New tax and highway tolls discussed at State Capitol
Republicans have proposed a much smaller road and bridge rebuild plan and say it can be done with the existing tax structure and they say there’s no reason to study the mileage tax.
“I think there’s a full intention of this Governor to put in the vehicle ‘mileage tax.’ They don’t want to announce it til after the November elections and that’s what this game is,” said State Senate Minority Leader Len Fasano (R-North Haven).
“This is the beginning of the discussion not anywhere near an end or a decision,” said Malloy.Related Content: ‘Mileage Tax’ already being tested
Advocates for the mileage tax idea say with ‘smart phones’ and ‘in dash computers’ the idea of charging you for the miles you drive on state roads is technically well in reach. That it’s actually a much fairer way to charge you for the amount of wear and tear you actually put on roads and bridges and if it was coupled with a reduction or elimination of the gas tax, people might go for it.