New controversial ‘Truck Tax’ begins in January

Starting January 1, companies will have to start paying a mileage fee for their tractor trailers.
Published: Dec. 1, 2022 at 5:19 PM EST|Updated: Dec. 1, 2022 at 10:58 PM EST
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HARTFORD, Conn. (WFSB) - Starting January 1, companies will have to start paying a mileage fee for their tractor trailers.

The new tax is called a ‘Highway Use Fee’ and it’s only for heavy tractor trailers.

There are now signs at rest areas all along state highways reminding drivers and companies to register their vehicles.

Because Connecticut doesn’t have tolls, this is a way to collect revenue by charging a tax based on mileage.

“It’s a 120 bucks to go over that bridge in New York so Connecticut charging that fee is causing goods to go up? It’s a nonsensical argument,” said Rep. Matt Ritter, D-House Speaker.

Lawmakers, mainly democrats, passed legislation more than a year ago to put this tax in place.

“We thought it was a good policy, it’s going to help pay for our roads and bridges from trucks that do most damage,” said Rep. Ritter.

Supporters say these heavy trucks do the most damage and the money will help repair and maintain the highways. But trucking groups say it is discriminatory.

“We are very concerned about whether or not out of state providers will comply with the law,” said John Blair, Motor Transport Association of CT. “They are not registered and not domiciled in Connecticut. Some outfits may only come twice a year or twice a month and there’s no real enforcement mechanisms.”

Critics feel the burden of this tax will fall mainly on in state trucking companies.

Republican lawmakers have spoken out against this tax which the legislature passed more than year ago.

One Meriden trucking company says it could cost them, based on their 25 trucks, roughly $150,000 a year.

Carl Crummel says some truck companies try to avoid states that have similar fees, but the bottom line is, the tax is passed down to the consumer.

“Oh yeah, they have to. It’s either that or they’re not going to be in business,” said Carl.

The website for the Department of Revenue Services spells out how to register and how to calculate highway use.

There are also penalties.

Right now, the Motor Transport Association is considering whether they should file legal action.