By Eileen McNamara
As of today Connecticut will have nearly the highest gasoline taxes in the country.
A new 3.6 cent wholesale gasoline tax increase, which retailers pass directly on to consumers at the pump, will bring the state's combined retail and wholesale gasoline taxes up 49.6 cents per gallon.
At more than 50 cents a gallon, only California and New York have a higher gas tax in the continental U.S., according to a report on the Connecticut Mirror website.
The hike comes just as Connecticut enters one of its busiest travel season — the July 4 holiday weekend — when vacationing Nutmeggers will take to both the highways and waterways in cars and boats.
While Connecticut puts a premium on taxing gasoline, the revenue raised from those taxes is largely bypassing state road improvements, the Mirror reports.
With the new gas taxes this week Connecticut will raise an extra $60 million at the pumps this year. But little of that money will go toward improving the state's highway infrastructure, the website reports. Instead, the state will continue to siphon the revenues for other spending.
“Connecticut has been systematically underinvesting in its transportation infrastructure, and this has been going on for years and years and years,” University of Connecticut economist Fred V. Carstensen told the Mirror.