A highly controversial tax on home heating oil has been declared dead by two legislative committee leaders.
The co-chairmen of the commerce committee announced Thursday that the proposed excise tax, which drew huge opposition from oil dealers, did not have the necessary support among lawmakers.
State Sen. Gary D. LeBeau, who now lives in East Windsor, and state Rep. Chris Perone of Norwalk said in a statement that the bill “received its public hearing on March 20 so environmental advocates and others could make their case for the proposed new fund.”
“Our job as legislators, and especially as committee chairs, is to have an open discussion with all stakeholders of an issue making their case, and then determine whether that legislation will improve our state’s economy,” Perone said in a statement. “Earlier this week, we heard testimony about a bill that would have levied a tax on home heating and propane users. In these tough economic times, we decided that this bill would not be helpful to the citizens of our state and to the overall economy in Connecticut.”
“While the goal of this bill is laudable and should be supported, the proposal as submitted is unworkable at this time given the current economic climate, especially for senior citizens on fixed or limited incomes,” LeBeau said in a statement. “To those home heating oil dealers who testified that they are fully supportive of energy conservation and increased efficiency – and there were many of them – I say, here’s your chance. The governor’s comprehensive energy plan had two options for supporting this much-needed fund: a state levy or a volunteer contribution from home heating oil dealers. Now is the time for them to stand up for the customers and the environment they say they care about.”