New tax hike for seasonal parking causing confusion for some CT - WFSB 3 Connecticut

New tax hike for seasonal parking causing confusion for some CT municipalities

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The parking rates at some CT beaches including Ocean Beach are causing with some town officials and park patrons. (WFSB) The parking rates at some CT beaches including Ocean Beach are causing with some town officials and park patrons. (WFSB)
NEW LONDON, CT (WFSB) -

A new state tax on seasonal and hospital garage parking is causing some confusion. Six days into the new policy and many shoreline towns told Eyewitness News they  haven't been told how to collect or when they should start.

The managers at Ocean Beach in New London raised their fees to include the new 6.35% state sales tax a week and a half ago. The increase came days before the three biggest shoreline state parks raised their parking fees.

Many shoreline towns told Eyewitness News that they have not been told how to charge this new tax. 

Weekday and weekend parking fees at Ocean Beach Park were raised a couple of dollars recently to satisfy the new state law passed last month. It took effect on July 1. 

"We called the state and asked for their interpretation and they did tell us 'yes we had to pay it,'” Dave Sugrue, who is the manager at Ocean Beach, said.

Ocean Beach is owned by the city of New London and managed by a private company.

Last Saturday, Connecticut Department of Energy & Environmental Protection raised their parking fees at Rocky Neck, Hammonassett and Sherwood Island to include the new state tax.

But other shoreline towns such as Waterford have yet to add the sales tax because the town is by law, exempt from paying taxes.

"Our next step is we're going to wait for the Department of Revenue Services to get to us and give us some direction on this,” Waterford First Selectman Dan Steward said.

Sales tax for parking in hospital parking garages is also included in the same law. But a spokesperson for Hartford Hospital said theirs is owned by a private firm and has been charging the tax.

"We're truly not sure if we're affected by it.  Until we get some clarification from the State on how they want to implement this process?  We'll have to deal with it,” Sugrue said.

Eyewitness News checked with Lawrence and Memorial Hospital in New London. They do not charge a parking fee in their garage. The parking fee at Harkness State Park in Waterford, according to staffers at the gate, goes up on Saturday. 

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