STAMFORD BUSINESS OWNERS ORGANIZE PROTEST AGAINST TOLLS AND GAS TAX INCREASES
STAMFORD, CONN., February 8, 2018 -- Concerned about the rising cost of doing business and living in Connecticut, a grassroots coalition of business owners and taxpayers in Stamford are organizing a rally on Saturday, February 17, from 11:00 a.m. until 1:30 p.m. in front of the Stamford Government Center at 888 Washington Boulevard in downtown Stamford. The goal, says organizers, is to raise awareness about how these new taxes will hurt small businesses, raise the cost of consumer goods, deter companies and businesses from choosing to move to or remain in Connecticut, and hurt all working-class citizens, who already are paying some of the highest taxes in the country.
Patrick Sasser, who is a partner in a local trucking company located in Stamford, is one of the protest organizers. “We need the Governor and elected State officials to know that we are being taxed to death and that is not the solution to our State’s financial troubles,” says Sasser. “We are asking them to find different ways to save money and cut spending. These tolls and increased gas taxes will fall on the backs of the already struggling working class in Connecticut, and we simply can’t afford that.”
Sasser has joined several other business owners who share his frustration and feel they’re not being heard in Hartford. They also believe that installing the tolls is a possible breach of contract between Connecticut and the Federal government. According to an agreement signed in 1983 with the Federal Highway Administration, if tolls are installed on state highways, it is possible the state would have to refund all federal funding applied to road building and repairs dating back to when the agreement began.
With tolls being proposed within five miles of one another depending on placement, Sasser and his associates are concerned that the state will arbitrarily raise the cost of tolls in the future, further exacerbating already-burdened Connecticut taxpayers, 75 percent of whom will pay the tolls. Much of the remaining tolls will be paid by out-of-state drivers, including trucks moving vital goods in and out of the state. To compensate for the cost of tolls and increased taxes on gasoline and fuel a $.07 increase per gallon has been proposed, these service providers will have to raise the cost of goods they transport to Connecticut merchants, who in turn will pass those costs on to consumers.
Organizers also are concerned that money raised by the gas tax is not going toward the repair and maintenance of roads and bridges, as originally designated. They are encouraging heavy truck owners and trucking companies, as well as drivers of tow trucks and private service vehicles to attend the rally and call attention to their concerns by driving around the block continuously during the rally. They also are asking business owners, concerned citizens, legislators and government officials who share their worries about Connecticut’s budget challenges to join them at the rally in a show of solidarity and in an effort to get the attention of the Governor and other legislators so they’ll reconsider these debilitating taxes.
For more information, contact Sasser at 203/912-2034, or email him at firstname.lastname@example.org
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