HARTFORD, Conn. — The Connecticut legislature this week passed a highway usage fee bill that would levy a vehicle miles traveled (VMT) tax on large commercial trucks. House Bill 6688 (HB 6688) was approved by the House Tuesday, June 8, with a vote of 88-59. The Senate approved the bill with a vote of 22-14 shortly after 12:30 Wednesday, June 9, according to the CT Mirror.
The bill is now headed to the desk of Connecticut Gov. Ned Lamont’s desk, who included the bill in his earlier this year. The bill is sponsored by Democratic Reps. Matthew Ritter, Martin M. Looney, Jason Rojas and Bob Duff.
If signed into law by Lamont, the bill would result in a VMT ranging from 2.5 cents per mile for commercial trucks with a gross weight of 26,000 to 28,000 pounds up to 17.5 cents per mile for those weighing 80,000 pounds or more. The fees, which would apply to all roads within the state, would be enacted Jan. 1, 2023, with motor carriers required to calculate and file monthly returns for miles traveled on roads within Connecticut. The funds generated, expected to average $90 million annually, would be deposited into a special transportation fund.
In addition, carriers would have to apply for and be granted a permit before their trucks would be allowed to travel within the state.
Joseph Sculley, president of the Motor Transport Association of Connecticut, described the proposed tax as “unworkable,” adding that out-of-state trucks are likely to find new routes, avoiding travel through Connecticut and leaving in-state carriers to bear the brunt of the tax burden.