State Senator Joe Markley (R-Southington) is calling on the Connecticut Department of Energy and Environmental Protection (DEEP) to withdraw its proposal to impose a new state tax on oil and propane heat customers.
“Half the families in my district and in our state depend on oil for warmth in the winter,” Markley said in his July 28 letter to DEEP. “February can be bleak enough in Connecticut without a big new charge on our heat.”
The draft energy strategy released this week by DEEP proposes ‘an additional contribution plan’ for customers who use ‘oil and other deliverable fuels’ to heat their homes and businesses.
Markley said such a proposal is “both unwise and inappropriate.”
“Clearly, a proposal like this requires legislative action,” Markley wrote to DEEP. “I’d suggest it should also be a legislative initiative. Let legislators who see some value in placing additional burdens on our hard-pressed families make their case to their colleagues and constituents, instead of allowing unelected administrators to carry the ball.”
Markley is especially concerned that the proposal might be seized on by legislators looking for a way to increase taxes.
“Such suggestions strike me as especially dangerous at a time when many lawmakers are so desperate for new revenue,” Markley wrote. “Your support could give them cover for a most painful new charge on struggling families and seniors on fixed incomes.”
“I would respectfully ask that you and your department stop thinking in terms of new charges on an essential family expense, the very fuel that warms our hearths and homes,” Markley concluded.
Markley encouraged taxpayers who are opposed to the heating oil and propane tax to send him their comments at Joe.Markley@cga.ct.gov with the subject line “Heating Oil and Propane Tax”.
Hearings in the region on DEEP’s heating oil and propane tax proposal will be held at the following dates and times:
· 6:30 p.m. at City Hall in Torrington on Aug. 29
· 6:30 p.m. at DEEP headquarters in Hartford on Sept. 6
· 6:30 p.m. at the Connecticut Agricultural Experiment Station in New Haven on Sept. 7.
Markley said he will make sure any correspondence he receives will be forwarded to DEEP officials.