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Connecticut to enact highway fee for trucks

Proposed mileage tax likely to fail, carrier group contends

Connecticut Gov. Ned Lamont is expected to sign a bill passed this week by state lawmakers that, beginning January 2023, will impose a tax of up to 17.5 cents per mile on heavy trucks that use Connecticut’s roadways.

The tax,, which trucks would be required to pay in addition to federal fuel taxes, is estimated to generate $45 million in revenue in FY23 and $90 million annually thereafter, and would go toward repairing roads and bridges.

“This small fee on large tractor trailers that are doing 20,000 times the amount of damage as a passenger vehicle is a responsible way to address part of that crisis,” commented state Rep. Roland Lemar, a Democrat.

Most Republicans in the legislature, however, including Rep. Devin Carney, opposed the bill. “I think it’s going to raise costs on food, on things like heating oil, clothing, gasoline — I just think it’s a trickle-down tax that’s very regressive,” Carney said.

Joseph Sculley, president of the Motor Transport Association of Connecticut, said that the tax will add a financial burden on in-state trucking companies while out-of-state companies will avoid paying by rerouting around the state.

“One of our members estimated it is going to cost him an additional $200,000 per year, and if he can’t pass the cost down, whether through a line-item fee or by increasing his overall rates, he’ll be out of business,” Sculley told FreightWaves.

In addition, Sculley said, state lawmakers have admitted that the program would be administered using an honor system and that it would not be a priority for roadside law enforcement. “I told every member of the legislature that 20 states have tried it and gave up because they couldn’t make it work.”

According to the Congressional Budget Office (CBO), four states — Kentucky, New Mexico, New York and Oregon — are levying some form of vehicle-miles-traveled (VMT) fee on commercial trucks. Kentucky charges a flat rate of about 3 cents per mile, and the other three charge rates that vary by trucks’ weight, ranging from about 1 to 29 cents per mile, notes a CBO report.

The Connecticut proposal places trucks in 28 weight categories. The rate charged per mile ranges from 2.5 cents for trucks weighing 26,000-28,000 pounds to 17.5 cents for trucks weighing 80,001 pounds and over.

The bill requires each carrier to apply to the state’s Department of Revenue Services (DRS) for a highway user tax permit, and would prohibit carriers from operating their trucks in the state without one. Any fees would have to be paid to DRS each month.

Click for more FreightWaves articles by John Gallagher.


  1. Ive already alerted my company to this new law. the boss has already put the state on the blacklist of places we wont deliver to and we deliver for Exxon sooo yup they are gonna learn the hard way

  2. Perhaps it is time for carrier to terminate service to CT?
    Or install a $500 per FTL fee on loads delivering into CT and $100 per LTL shipment.
    Drivers cannot afford to absorb these costs and if successful each and every state will do this…

  3. Not only will there be a trickle down effect of economy, but there will be serious inflated prices on goods and services for Residents in Connecticut and surrounding States. Like any business Trucking Companies raise their rates to carry goods, brokers suggest to suppliers to raise prices on said goods, and retailers in Connecticut do what yes thats right raise prices to do what make a profit. After all thats why businesses are in business right. Then Residents of Connecticut are really paying for the roads not Truckers not businesses. This is not only a one sided problem it spearheads into two. It leaves open a suggestion to doing this to Cars as well. The state has not proven it can not handle funds very well.

  4. I am curious as to the data source Rep Lemar used regarding his comment “large tractor trailers that are doing 20,000 times the amount of damage as a passenger vehicle”.

    Certainly, trucking companies will look to pass this cost on to their customer with it eventually ending up increasing to costs to consumers in Connecticut and beyond . . . A shipment from Boston to Atlanta, Charlotte, Dallas, Miami, etc.; moving on I-95 through Connecticut will incur this fee.

    As carriers re-route shipments to/from Boston/NE New England, avoiding transiting through Connecticut, business that cater to the trucking industries; service stations/truck stops, truck repair, restaurants, etc.; would see a lose of business, not only in Connecticut, but Rhode Island as well.

    1. That politician has no data, just shootin’ from the hip and playing to voters who dont realize that this truck transport tax will mainly be paid by fuel tankers, who will raise their rates for fuel delivery, which gas stations will then pass on to the consumers – who elected this fool.

John Gallagher

Based in Washington, D.C., John specializes in regulation and legislation affecting all sectors of freight transportation. He has covered rail, trucking and maritime issues since 1993 for a variety of publications based in the U.S. and the U.K. John began business reporting in 1993 at Broadcasting & Cable Magazine. He graduated from Florida State University majoring in English and business.