The General Assembly on Wednesday approved a three-month state gasoline tax holiday starting April 1.
The bill, which passed 143-0 mid-afternoon in the House and cleared the Senate 33-0 shortly after 8 p.m., also provides free public bus service over the same period and a sales-tax-free week on clothing and footwear in mid-April.
Gov. Ned Lamont, who helped to negotiate the relief plan, signed the legislation Thursday.
“Connecticut is in a stronger fiscal position than ever before, and I am determined to use every tool available to provide relief for our residents. I am appreciative that legislative leaders from both parties successfully worked with my office to get this done, and I think these actions are a good indicator that in the coming weeks we will be able to once again come to a bipartisan agreement to provide more tax relief to the people of Connecticut,” Lamont said in a news release.
“This is a great first step that we can take to give [consumers] some affordability, to give them some relief,” Rep. Sean Scanlon, D-Guilford, co-chairman of the Finance, Revenue and Bonding Committee, said of the $100 million plan.
“Help is on the way. We are here to do what we can to provide relief to our working families,” said Senate Majority Leader Bob Duff, D-Norwalk.
The measure suspends the 25-cents-per-gallon tax that Connecticut imposes on gasoline sales at the retail level. The suspension begins April 1 and runs through June 30.
During the same period of time, state bus service will be free. Scanlon noted that most of these fares range from $1 to $2 per rider per trip.
The final element of the plan suspends — during the week of April 10 to 16 — the 6.35% sales tax on clothing and footwear items costing $100 or less. The state normally provides a sales-tax-free week in August each year to help households purchase back-to-school clothing for children. That still is planned for later this summer.
“This certainly is some short-term relief. Certainly when we all come together, we can do very good things,” House Minority Leader Vincent J. Candelora, R-North Branford, said of the bipartisan legislation.
Legislators and Lamont had been discussing some form of tax relief for several weeks as the Russian invasion of Ukraine has driven up oil prices worldwide.
The AAA Northeast reports an average retail price Wednesday of $4.325 for one gallon of regular unleaded gasoline in Connecticut. That’s down from a recent high of $4.49 on March 11. One month ago, the AAA reported an average price of $3.67 per gallon in Connecticut.