HARTFORD -- The Connecticut Department of Transportation is taking part in a multi-state effort to study the implications of a mileage-based tax system for motorists.
Funding for the study comes from the Federal Government with matching contributions from each state. Connecticut is spending approximately $300,000 on the study.
The objectives of the study include how to track vehicle mileage, the effect such a system could have on traffic volume on major roads, and how to mitigate projected rises in the number of cars on the road.
Republicans in the state legislature criticized the move and its costs saying the study comes at a time the state can't afford it.
"I don't think the study is necessary because we don't need a tax here in the state of CT," said State Senator Len Fasano, Senate Minority Leader. "I've asked the majority party to go into special session and stop this. Just go right in and say we're not going to do this. We're broke and can't afford $300,000 we can use it in other places. And two if the argument for them is we're never going to do it then why are we going to do the study?"
The CT DOT said in a statement:
“We have no intention of moving forward with a mileage-based user fee program. Suggestions to the contrary are untrue. The Department of Transportation has an obligation to understand driver behavior and applying for a federal grant to study an idea’s feasibility and further our understanding is, simply, what we do — we fight for every dollar available. What we are doing, in conjunction with neighboring states, is seeking federal grants so we can be a better department, further understand motorist behavior, and be more efficient and effective in reducing congestion and traffic. That's it.”