Douglas Healey / ctnewsjunkie file photo
HARTFORD, CT — Both Republicans and Democrats were lining up Tuesday to tout the state’s decision to inform a multi-state coalition it won’t be participating in a mileage tax study.

On April 6, Transportation Commissioner James Redeker wrote the I-95 Corridor Coalition to let them know Connecticut doesn’t have the $300,000 it would cost the state to participate in the study.

“I regret to inform you that the State of Connecticut must withdraw from the Coalition’s project on Mileage-Based User Fees in a Multi-State Region,” Redeker wrote. “I continue to believe this collaborative effort is a great opportunity to learn and gather critical information about a potential future revenue source. Unfortunately, the Connecticut Department of Transportation is now facing large budget cuts that prevent us from providing any state matching funds.”

Senate Democrats and Republican lawmakers were quick to claim victory for killing the spending that was never included in the budget.

“I am pleased that the DOT has finally pulled the plug on the mileage tax study,” Sen. Majority Leader Bob Duff, D-Norwalk, said. “It was clear from the outset that the Senate Democrats opposed the mileage tax study.”

Republican Senate President Len Fasano, R-North Haven, said the mileage tax study, which would have charged people based on how much they drive, “was always a bad idea.”

“A mileage tax is a burden taxpayers cannot afford,” Fasano said.

The federal grant obtained by the I-95 Corridor Coalition would allow Delaware, Pennsylvania, Connecticut, and New Hampshire recruit 50 volunteers from each of the states to act as guinea pigs. The volunteers would then receive fake invoices for the miles they drove.