Christine Cohen

State Senator

Christine Cohen

Deputy President Pro Tempore

Listening, Advocating & Getting Results

March 23, 2022

Sen. Cohen Approves 3-Month Gas Tax Holiday, Another Sales-Tax Free Week

Over $100 million in tax savings for CT residents

HARTFORD – On a day when regular gasoline prices hovered around $4 a gallon across Connecticut, state Senator Christine Cohen (D-Guilford) voted today to cut Connecticut’s gas tax by 25 cents a gallon for the next three months – saving Connecticut motorists an estimated $90 million between now and June 30.

Sen. Cohen also voted today to create a second sales-tax free week on clothing and shoes valued at under $100 to take place in April; the move is expected to save Connecticut consumers $3 million.

Today’s vote also saves Connecticut commuters an additional $8.1 million by providing free public bus service transportation in Connecticut through June 30.

“I have been hearing from neighbors and business owners about the impacts of these recent gasoline price spike to their wallets and bottom lines. We needed to act fast, and due to a hearty Rainy Day Fund that has met its cap, we have surplus to allow for some solutions,” Sen. Cohen said. “I am happy that we can provide immediate relief with the suspension of the gas tax for three months. I expect that motorists will see lower prices the first week in April. Additionally, we were able to provide families with another sales-tax free week, which has been widely popular, as well as give bus commuters free rides through the end of the fiscal year on June 30. While I think we should continue to put our heads together and seek further relief, altogether, this will amount to over $100 million in savings for Connecticut residents.”

Sen. Cohen approved the combined $101.3 million in savings for Connecticut residents today by joining the bipartisan vote for House Bill 5501, “AN ACT SUSPENDING CERTAIN GAS TAXES AND SALES AND USE TAXES ON CERTAIN CLOTHING AND ALLOCATING FUNDS FOR FREE PUBLIC BUS SERVICES.” The bill had passed the House of Representatives earlier in the day and now heads to Governor Ned Lamont for his signature into law.

House Bill 5501 requires retail gas dealers to reduce their pump prices by 25 cents per gallon or face charges of unfair or deceptive trades practices. The $90 million gas tax cut will not affect Connecticut’s General Fund budget – which is now enjoying a $1.7 billion surplus – or its record-setting $3 billion Rainy Day Fund; the money will only affect the state’s Special Transportation Fund, where gasoline taxes are routinely deposited

The April sales tax holiday on clothing under $100 is designed to provide families with economic relief in the face of rising inflation, and it will be in addition to Connecticut’s annual tax-free week on apparel that traditionally takes place in August. Under sales-tax free week, clothing and shoes with retail prices under $100 will be exempt from the state sales tax of 6.35%.

Items included in the sales tax holiday include socks, hats, belts, blouses, diapers, dresses, employee uniforms, cress or work gloves, golf jackets and shirts, jeans, sweat suits, underwear, jackets, scarves, many types of shoes, sleepwear and swimsuits. Items that remain taxable include specialty boots for fishing, mountain climbing, skiing and firefighting; specialty gloves including athletic, garden, golf, tennis and rubber gloves; handbags; headbands; ice skates; martial arts attire and sports uniforms and helmets; safety equipment; specialty shoes including ballet, bicycle, bowling, football, golf, track and jazz shoes; ski pants; wallets; and wet suits.