Gasoline taxes could rise as Lamont joins regional climate group

Gov. Ned Lamont has signed on to a regional climate initiative, which if approved by the General Assembly would likely result in the first hike in the state’s gasoline tax since 2000, though in an indirect way. The goal of the Transportation and Climate Initiative Program is to rid the air of carbon emissions, while promoting mass transit and cleaner travel options including electric cars. It could raise about $300 million a year for the new programs across more than a dozen states in the Northeast and Washington, D.C. Whatever the price for consumers, joining the multistate group would not address Connecticut’s immediate need to rebuild and repair highways and bridges, pay for transit subsidies and shoulder other transportation costs. The state’s Special Transportation Fund, which depends on taxes and fees, is expeced to run at a deficit over the next few years and become insolvent. To fix that, Lamont had proposed highway tolls in 2019 and again early this year, but was unable to get a plan through the General Assembly, as Republicans opposed tolls unanimously and Democratic leadrs did not bring any of the governor’s proposals to a vote.

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