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Westport’s Ken Bernhard Calls Attention to Hybrid Car Sales Tax Exemption

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Bernhard at Hartford news conference today. Contributed photo
Westport state Rep. G. Kenneth Bernhard was among state lawmakers today drawing attention to a new law that will make Connecticut the only state to exempt gas-electric hybrid cars from the state’s sales tax.

The new law, proposed by Bernhard, takes effect on Friday.

Bernhard and other lawmakers held a news conference at the state Capitol in Hartford where some of the hybrid cars were on display. One was owned by Westporter Roy Dickinson.

The 6 percent sales tax exemption applies to certain hybrid vehicles that get an estimated 40 miles per gallon on the highway.

Bernhard said that hybrid cars reduce smog-forming gases by 10 to 15 percent and consume 21 percent less gasoline than similar, conventional vehicles.

“This is a small but important step towards a rational and necessary clean air and energy policy, one the federal government should be making but has yet to do,” Bernhard said.

He said most dealerships have a waiting list for the hybrid cars and the new law should strengthen consumer demand and stimulate more automobile manufacturers to produce the vehicles.

Dickinson said his hybrid car is “peppy, roomy and a joy to drive.” He added, “I’m getting about 40 miles per gallon around town and 50 on the highway, along with helping to improve the environment.”

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