As the state's car tax deadline draws near, some of the state's top lawmakers are working to get the word out about car tax cuts that the General Assembly approved during the most recent legislative session.
The top two members of the State Senate held a show-and-tell of sorts in New Britain on Friday with the president of motor coach company DATTCO.
"You know, our industry has been subject to a lot of new regulations and higher costs, so anything we can do to be more competitive is [a good thing]," said DATTCO president Donald DeVivo. "We’re in a regional marketplace, so anything we can do to be more competitive is definitely helpful."
State Senate Majority Leader Bob Duff, a Democrat from Norwalk, touted the car tax cuts as "tangible benefits for the businesses of the state of Connecticut."
Lawmakers approved capping the state's car tax rate at 29.36 mills by the 2018 fiscal year. Any city or town with a mill rate higher than that will see a cut to its mill rate specifically for motor vehicles by that time.
The cut comes in two phases. The first phase trims local car taxes to 32 mills by July 2016 and the second phase reaches the cap of 29.36 by July 2017.
Lawmakers sold the plan as a way to provide real property tax relief for the first time, while maintaining the amount of state aid to cities and towns by dedicating some sales tax revenues to municipal aid. That way, lawmakers argue, they can keep sending the same share of state funds back to cities and towns at the higher mill rates.
Martin Looney, top member of the Connecticut Senate, called the car tax cut a "transformative element" of the next two year budget cycle.
Matthew Casarotto, who paid his $460 car tax bill Friday said he's very much looking forward to a 40 percent cut in New Britain, which has a mill rate of 49.
"That would actually be great. That would be wonderful. I just paid the security deposit for the place I’m moving into and I’m paying rent and I had this today, too, so it’s a big chunk of change. A bit lower would be nice," Casarotto said.