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Trucks already pay, don't penalize these heroes with tolls

Paul Choiniere's Nov. 29 column states, “But if those trucks gas up elsewhere, Connecticut will see no increased revenue from them, because Connecticut does not have tolls.” This is false, as I detailed in a previous letter to The Day, which the paper graciously published on July 26, 2018.

Connecticut does in fact collect tax and fee revenue from out-of-state trucks, regardless of where they fuel up. My previous letter referenced the fact that Connecticut had received $26 million to $30 million annually from out-of-state trucks. Since that letter was published, Connecticut did see increased revenue from those trucks. Data from the state shows that more than $40 million in combined revenue was collected through the International Registration Plan and the International Fuel Tax Agreement in 2018.

An out-of-state truck does not even need to stop in Connecticut in order to pay these taxes. If a commercial truck weighing more than 26,000 pounds drives through Connecticut, it must pay taxes on the miles it drives and the fuel it uses while in the state.

On a related note, the trucking industry has played a vital role during the COVID-19 pandemic by getting food to grocery stores so that shelves emptied by panicked shoppers could be refilled. Trucking companies continue to transport medical equipment to hospitals and medicine to pharmacies. They are going to play a big role in getting vaccine doses to where they need to go.

The industry and its employees were rightly hailed as being among the heroes of the pandemic. It was a welcome and overdue change, after being dragged through the mud for three years during the push for tolls. Trucks do pay their fair share, and it is my hope that public appreciation of the industry will continue, rather than having it face a new round of false statements as part of a new push for tolls or some other tax. 

Joseph R. Sculley is the president of the Motor Transport Association of Connecticut.

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