February 2019 Legislative Report

Dave Bajumpaa

The 2019 State Legislative Session began on January 9 and will end on June 5. In preparation for thisupcoming session, we have retained the services ofHughes and Cronin Public Affairs Strategies to monitor legislation related to the antique auto hobby, as we have done in previous sessions. In this monitoring capacity Hughes and Cronin informs us oft he pending legislation. We report to you on any legislation potentially impacting the hobby, and ask you to contact your legislators and help get favorable legislation passed, and unfavorable legislation defeated (i.e., a "grass roots" approach). At the present time, we are not aware of any legislation planned to be introduced in the 2019 Legislative Session that will adversely impact the antique auto hobby. The table included in this newsletter summarizes the current status of bills related to the hobby and other transportation related matters of interest that have been introduced in the legislative session to date(January 25, 2019). In this table I have identified three bills in bold text regarding automobile  insurance. One of the three, House Bill 5858 concerns the valuation of classic motor vehicles. In the article on the first page of this newsletter, I solicit your feedback regarding whether the 4C’s should support these bills. We will be discussing them at the February 4th 4C’s Business Meeting.Senator Martin Looney (New Haven) has proposed to introduce legislation concerning a state wide mill rate on motor vehicles. Reports indicate he will be proposing repeal of the local property tax on vehicles,with a new statewide vehicular tax of between 15 and 19 mills, and revenue going into a fund for reimbursing towns and cities that host tax-free institutions such as colleges, state buildings and hospitals. He is also proposing to a new one-mill statewide tax — $1 on each $1,000 of value — on realestate. This is an issue that will be discussed furtherin this legislative session. If a statewide property tax on motor vehicles is enacted, we will need to be vigilant to ensure the maximum $500 tax assessment provision for our collector cars is maintained.This year, the Connecticut General Assembly’s Transportation Committee will be led by State Senator Carlo Leone Representing Stamford & Darien and State Representative Roland Lemar serving NewHaven and East Haven.The major challenge for new Governor Ned Lamont and the General Assembly in this session will be dealing with the state’s fiscal continuing problems. Projections for future Connecticut budgets show that they will be running very large deficits. The projected deficits for the budget years beginning July 1, 2019,2020, 2021 and 2022 of $2.0, $2.5, $3.1 and $3.6 billion, respectively. So the fiscal problems for the state are far from over and will dominate this and future legislative sessions. Regarding the Department of Motor Vehicles,Governor Lamont has not yet appointed a new Commissioner at the time I am writing this newsletter