Crisco supports cap on wholesale tax on gas

Joseph Crisco

HARTFORD — The state Senate unanimously voted for a permanent cap on the state tax on the wholesale price of gasoline Wednesday.

“Most Connecticut families require gasoline — despite high prices — to travel to work and school, and to shop and keep important appointments, so unfortunately other aspects of family budgets are squeezed when gas prices keep climbing,” State Sen. Joseph J. Crisco (D-17) said in a news release. “Our proposal will address gas prices directly, with a limit on the wholesale price to which the state tax would apply, and give the state Department of Consumer Protection more authority to investigate charges of price gouging and profiteering.”

With steadily rising prices over the past few months, legislative leadership offered an Emergency Certified bill to help provide relief at the pump.

Specifics of the bill place a circuit breaker on the gross receipts tax, strengthen protections against price gouging, enlists the state Department of Consumer Protection to investigate charges of oil profiteering, and require that savings are passed along to consumers, according to a release issued by Crisco’s office.

The bill approved Wednesday includes the following provisions:

  • Legislatively declares a 30-day period of petroleum market scrutiny by the Department of Energy and Environmental Protection and the Department of Consumer Protection in anticipation of further wholesale price spikes.
  • Amends the petroleum profiteering statute to provide for investigations of price gouging whenever the wholesale price rises by 15 percent or more within 90 days.
  • Grants the commissioner of the Department of Consumer Protection authority to impose Unfair Trade Practice fines on large gasoline wholesalers and distributors who are in violation of profiteering laws.
  • Puts a permanent circuit breaker on the gross receipts tax (GRT) on motor fuels at $3/per gallon wholesale, upon passage.
  • Prohibits oil wholesalers and distributors (those who pay the gross receipts tax) from passing on anything purporting to be based on the tax for the portion of any sales price over $3 per gallon.