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Parking at Connecticut parks is exempt again


 Squantz Pond State Park, Connecticut.

On July 1, 2015, parking fees at certain federal, state and local parking lots in Connecticut became subject to sales tax. Unpopular among visitors and staff alike, the tax has now been repealed.

An unintentional tax

It takes time to repeal a law, but there was little resistance to the idea. In fact, the legislation was unanimously approved in both the House and Senate. Perhaps that’s because legislators hadn’t intended to impose the tax in the first place. According to The Day, legislators didn’t realize that they had taxed entry fees at parks:

“General Assembly leaders had stuffed it into the ‘implementer bill’ during a one-day, mid-summer special session to try to patch the budget. There was confusion over what parking fees the state was preparing to tax.”

The good news is that House Bill 5627, signed into law by Governor Dannel P. Malloy on May 27, eliminated the tax just in time for Memorial Day weekend. Effective upon passage, Susan K. Whalen, Deputy Commissioner for Environmental Conservation at the Connecticut Department of Energy and Environmental Protection, said the new policy would be immediately implemented.

It’s good that visitors and staff need no longer fuss with coins. During weekends while the tax was in place, approximately 400 pounds of coins were brought to park collection booths daily so that change could be given to visitors — 400 pounds. From now on, both staff and visitors can bask in bills. The weekend resident entry fee at shoreline parks drops from $13.83 (tax included) to $13 (no tax); weekend resident entry fees at inland state parks drops from $6.38 to $6; and so on.

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Gail Cole
Avalara Author
Gail Cole
Gail Cole
Avalara Author Gail Cole
Gail began researching and writing about sales tax in 2012 and has been fascinated with it ever since. She has a penchant for uncovering unusual tax facts, and endeavors to make complex sales tax laws more digestible for both experts and laypeople.