MD Rahman


MD Rahman



May 8, 2024

Senator Rahman Leads Passage of Bill to Empower Towns to Repeal the Car Tax

Towns and cities would have the option of repealing their motor vehicle property taxes and adjusting their assessment ratios to make up lost revenue under a bill championed by Senator MD Rahman and passed Wednesday by the Senate.

The Senate added the policy to House Bill 5172 on a 32 – 4 during the final day of the legislative session Wednesday and then passed the bill, sending it back to the House for consideration.

The amended bill allows towns and cities to phase out their motor vehicle property taxes over the course of five years, while increasing their assessment ratio on real property above the current cap of 70% to recover revenue formerly raised by the car tax.

Senator Rahman — a freshman senator from Manchester, who chaired a legislative task force to explore options to repeal the car tax — led passage of the amendment during Wednesday’s debate.

“This action represents a victory for taxpayers across the state, who have endured the burden of an unfair tax for too long,” Senator Rahman said. “Today the Senate voted overwhelmingly to provide towns and cities with the tools to repeal this unpopular tax and establish a simpler and more equitable tax code.”

During the debate, Senator Rahman, who immigrated to the United States from Bangladesh, recalled the unexpected burden imposed by the car tax.

The motor vehicle property tax is considered a regressive policy because its impact varies from municipality to municipality and its burden tends to fall more heavily on residents of lower and middle income communities.

The bill had broad support among senators, including Senate President Pro Tempore Martin Looney, who said the variance in the tax was unfair. While the value of property like homes and commercial buildings depends in large part on location, a vehicle’s value remains constant.

“This is an issue that many of us have been talking about for a long time,” Senator Looney said. “This amendment gives the towns an option to do something about it without requiring them to.”

Senator John Fonfara, a Hartford Democrat who co-chairs the legislature’s Finance Committee, said Connecticut was an outlier in imposing a motor vehicle tax. The passage of the bill would give each of the state’s 169 towns a viable way to get rid of the tax, he said.

“I believe, madam president, it will engender discussions in every town in this state,” Senator Fonfara said.