GREENWICH, Conn. – Connecticut’s gas tax holiday officially took effect on Friday. The state is now the third in the country to suspend its gas tax — a move meant to give drivers some relief at the pump.
Prices have spiked over the last few weeks, so the state is temporarily suspending its $0.25 excise tax from April 1 to June 30 to save drivers a quarter a gallon, but some residents, like Chuck Markelon, haven’t noticed it.
“Right now, it doesn’t seem to have any significance,” Markelon said. “I know they’re unleashing a bunch of barrels of gas also. I haven’t seen any difference since then. I just wish we had our own control of our own fuel.”
The Exxon station on W. Putnam Avenue in Greenwich was $4.44 for a gallon of regular gas as of Friday afternoon. Just one mile south over the New York border in Port Chester on Westchester Avenue, the Sunoco station there was $0.15 cheaper at $4.29 per gallon.
Juan Bedoya was filling up in Greenwich and said he’s grown accustomed to the high prices.
“I think we’ve gotten used to it as much as we can,” Bedoya said. “If we do get a relief, hopefully here shortly within the next few days, it’ll work out.”
It could take up to five days, according to Chris Herb, president of Connecticut Energy Marketers Association – an organization that represents 70% of gas stations in the state.
Because gas stations pay their taxes up front, he says motorists may not see the markdown right away. They will have to wait for the gas stations to refuel.
“Who would’ve thought that a bill that had the best of intentions – our industry fully supported providing relief to the public – and because the legislature didn’t listen, these are the ramifications of that,” Herb said.
Herb told PIX11 News’ sister station, WTNH in New Haven, that it may have to be passed onto the consumer for a few days or they will have to eat the tax and lose thousands of dollars.
Attorney General William Tong tweeted: “Any retailer suspected of charging this tax or a portion of this tax will be investigated and subject to penalties under the Connecticut Unfair Trade Practices Act.”
The law also suspends bus fares for the next three months, and starting April 10 through April 16, residents will not pay tax on clothing if they spend under $100.