For 22 years, the Connecticut car wash tax exemption helped keep prices manageable for consumers. But as of July 1, 2015, the sun set on that provision and the industry was forced to make a decision: swallow the 6.35 percent sales tax or pass the increase onto their customers. Many chose the former, saying coin-operated systems were not equipped to accept anything other than quarters.
Now some lawmakers are pushing back on the new tax, according to an article in The (Norwich) Bulletin. “Our industry is a discretionary purchase within a price-sensitive market,” said Todd Whitehouse, a former president of the Connecticut Car Wash Association, as he presented a petition with 20,000 signatures to a state legislative committee. Whitehouse owns a car wash business with four branches.
The industry obviously isn’t happy with the tax, but neither are consumers. Many say they’re annoyed by all the taxes on goods, services and income they have to pay. But lawmakers backing the reinstated car wash tax say the $7 million in extra revenue in the state’s coffers is worth the small uptick for those who wash their cars.