Boucher’s response to mileage tax is a resounding ‘no!’

State Senator Toni Boucher (R-26).

State Senator Toni Boucher (R-26).

State Senator Toni Boucher (R-26) is bracing for the reintroduction in the state legislature of a mileage tax — assessing every motorist in Connecticut for every mile they drive each year.

Boucher and Senate Minority Leader Len Fasano, a Republican from North Haven, issued a press release Monday, June 27, after a story published Saturday in the Washington Post reported the I-95 Corridor Coalition, to which Connecticut belongs, applied for a federal grant last month to launch a pilot program for the tax.

“If you thought the idea of tolls was unpopular, just wait until you try to tax Connecticut residents for every single mile they drive,” Boucher said in the release.

“That tax will hit drivers every day. It will hit you everywhere you go, even if you are driving to a hospital emergency room. The state needs to prioritize how it spends taxpayers’ money and direct that money to the right places, but the current leadership in Hartford has not shown the willingness to do that. I would also note that in the places where the mileage tax has been introduced, it has been highly unpopular and has received a stinging response from the public. Connecticut Republicans will be fighting this mileage tax idea until it stalls permanently, and we invite Connecticut motorists to join us,” added Boucher, who is ranking member of the state’s Transportation Committee.

A mileage tax was initially proposed in the legislature a year ago, and reappeared in January as part of a proposal to pay for the Gov. Dannel P. Malloy’s $100 billion transportation plan.

The Washington Post story said Connecticut, Delaware, Pennsylvania, and New Hampshire are looking at the mileage tax as an alternative to a gas tax and a federal grant would allow them to test the idea.

California’s pilot program is set to get under way in July and Oregon has a volunteer program in place, the Post reported.

One of the hurdles to a mileage tax is how it would be calculated. Counting devices that can be plugged into a port on most cars, cellphone apps, and GPS devices were some of the possibilities mentioned as well as assessing an annual fee.

Oregon’s voluntary program charges 1.5 cents per mile. For those who drive an average of 15,000 miles per year, that would amount to $225.

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