The end of the car tax? Tentative budget deal calls for its elimination

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HARTFORD — Members of the Connecticut House of Representatives are learning details of a tentative, bipartisan budget framework, including proposals to increase the cigarette tax and eventually eliminate local motor vehicle taxes.

According to lawmakers, the mil rate for motor vehicle taxes would increase to 39 in the first year of implementation, and be outright abolished in the second year.

Top Democratic and Republican House leaders briefed rank-and-file members on Thursday. More meetings are planned next week.

Rank-and-file senators are scheduled to be updated on Monday.

There’s hope for a budget vote next week, but that remains uncertain.

Democratic House Speaker Joe Aresimowicz says he’s looking forward to the plan passing by “overwhelming margins in both chambers,” and getting signed by Democratic Gov. Dannel P. Malloy.

“We’re very comfortable with the fact that we’ll have the votes moving forward out of our caucus to pass this budget and obviously we appreciate the bi-partisan vote because the negotiations were truly a victory for the state of Connecticut,” said Aresimowicz.

The governor hasn’t seen the proposal yet.

“You hear this might be in it or that might be in it. We have not had a comprehensive briefing, we don’t have a document, we don’t have any runs. Quite frankly, we don’t have anything on which to base judgement,” said Malloy Thursday morning.

House Republican Leader Themis Klarides was less certain, saying there will “always be tweaks to be made.”

“We went in there, and in any negotiation there’s things you give up and things you get,” said Klarides at a press conference. “I am very proud of things we have gotten, the changes we have made to the state of CT in this tentative proposal and these are things that have been in the making for 20 years.”

Connecticut has been without a budget since June 30.