What to know:

  • 1) CEMA is urging state lawmakers to refund gasoline taxes already paid in full or consumers won’t see immediate relief at the pumps when the gas tax holiday kicks in. 
  • 2) This is a consumer tax and customers will pay every penny of this tax unless the state refunds it right away. 
  • 3) This means it would be days before consumers see relief at the pumps until that taxable fuel in the ground is used up. 
  • 4) CEMA wants Connecticut leaders to follow Maryland’s lead. Maryland became the first state in the nation to pass a gas tax holiday but also agreed to refund state gasoline taxes already paid for fuel in the tanks at gas stations. This ensures immediate relief for consumers. 

For more information contact Shelly Sindland, shellysindland@ctema.com, 860-992-9045

Hartford: Connecticut Energy Marketers Association is urging Connecticut to follow Maryland’s lead by becoming the first state in the nation to implement a gas tax holiday while also agreeing to refund state taxes already paid for fuel in the tanks at gas stations. 

“There is a right way, and wrong way to do this. Maryland did it the right way,” said Chris Herb, President of Connecticut Energy Marketers Association. “Right now, Connecticut is on the path to do it the wrong way.”

Herb said the reason for this was that some Connecticut lawmakers and members of the administration seemed unlikely to refund gasoline taxes already paid for fuel in the ground, so to speak. Since gas stations pay gasoline taxes up front for the fuel that is in their tanks, the only way for the tax holiday to actually result in reduced prices immediately is if the state refunds the taxes that gasoline retailers have already paid in full. 

Just to put this in perspective, an average gas station typically has two tanks: 10,000 gallons each, or 20,000 gallons total. One tank is for unleaded gasoline and one tank for premium gasoline. If the state excise tax of 25 cents per gallon (cpg) is suspended and those tanks are full, gas station owners would lose $5,000 in tax money—if not more—that they already paid in full to the State of Connecticut. There are 1400 gasoline stations in the state. 

“We are simply asking for that tax money to be refunded to the gas stations’ owners so that we can pass along those tax savings immediately to the consumer,” Herb said. 

If not, customers will have to wait days until that taxable fuel is sold off. This means, it would be two to three days – or more – before customers see any relief at the pump. 

“We have told the administration and Connecticut lawmakers that this is the case. They are well aware of the issue at hand. We don’t want customers to be upset with us that they aren’t seeing immediate relief. We think asking for a refund for taxes that were already paid is a fair and effective solution,” Herb Said. “The state has no problem asking us for more money when taxes go up. It is only right to give us back the money we paid in state taxes when taxes are reduced. We don’t set what the taxes are, they do. 

Herb went on to say that CEMA members want to be able to offer immediate relief to consumers struggling to fill up their tanks but they can’t afford to bankroll the state’s gas tax holiday. 

“Our gas station retailers only make pennies per gallon when the price spikes the way it has recently. We could not, and should not, be asked by the State of Connecticut to eat millions of dollars in state taxes. It crosses an ethical line for sure, and borders on an illegal act by our own government—collecting taxes when there is no tax. Just think, if they try to do this to us, your business could be next,” Herb said. “Connecticut needs to follow Maryland’s lead. It is the right thing to do for consumers and for our members.”

*CEMA represents 600 local family owned heating oil/Bioheat® fuel retailers. Our motor fuels members own, operate, and distribute gasoline to 1,000 locations throughout Connecticut.