GOP Lawmakers Trying to Stop Gas Tax Hike

HARTFORD, Conn. (AP) _ Legislative Republicans are planning a petition drive to stop a scheduled increase in the gasoline tax.

Leaders of the General Assembly’s minority party are scheduled to kick off the drive with a news conference Monday at a Hartford gas station. Later, from 4 p.m. to 6 p.m., Republican lawmakers will collect signatures at gas stations in nine communities.

The state’s petroleum gross receipts tax _ a percentage of the wholesale price of gasoline and charged to companies distributing petroleum products _ is scheduled to increase 16 percent on July 1. That tax is in addition to the regular 25-cent-per-gallon gas tax and the 18.4 cents-per-gallon in federal gas taxes.

Majority Democrats have said the estimated $60 million collected by the increase was needed to help balance the state budget.

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