Every two years, early in Connecticut’s short legislative session, the governor issues a proposal for revising the two-year budget currently in effect. In the proposal he released in February, Governor Malloy, faced with a $245 million current deficit, proposed a series of new taxes and fees as the solution for closing it.
All of these new taxes and fees were submitted to the General Assembly in SB 10, a bill that is now before the Finance, Revenue, and Bonding Committee.
Within SB 10, the governor is proposing the following:
1. A new tax on nonprescription drugs and medicines
2. A new sales tax on tires, at $3 each
3. Eliminating the $200 property tax credit, which will affect low-income families and elderly individuals particularly hard
4. A gas tax hike of 7 cents per gallon
5. A 25-cent deposit on bottles for wine and liquor, as well as fruit, tea, sports, and energy drinks
6. Imposing a penalty on businesses by maintaining a temporary surcharge on the corporation tax that was due to expire on June 30
7. An increase in the hotel tax
8. An increase in the tax on real estate sales
9. The elimination of the $500 income tax credit for recent college graduates who earn a degree in a science, technology, engineering, or math field
If approved, all of these taxes would follow in the wake of the two historic tax increases Governor Malloy and the legislative majority approved in 2011 and 2015.
You may see certain items on this list that you feel more strongly about than others. But I think the more important question is whether you think obtaining more revenue from a shrinking tax base is the answer to Connecticut’s fiscal problems.
Increasing the tax pressure on people and businesses has not improved Connecticut’s budgetary or economic situation over the past several years, and has led many to relocate. There are other, more promising avenues: reducing spending and spending tax dollars more wisely, prohibiting borrowing for operating expenses, reducing the state’s skyrocketing fringe benefits and post-retirement costs, and attracting new businesses by creating a more business-friendly environment.
SB 10 cannot become law unless the legislature approves it following a public hearing before the Finance Committee. The public hearing is your opportunity to voice your opinion — either in writing or in person — about this proposal to tax Connecticut out of its financial stalemate.
Here’s how you can make sure your opinion on SB 10 counts:
– Submit your written testimony at FINtestimony@cga.ct.gov, and copy me if you like at firstname.lastname@example.org. Please include SB 10 in the subject line, and include your name and town in the testimony.
– Or, if you would like to testify in person at the Finance Committee’s public hearing, it begins this Friday, March 2, at 12:00 pm. It takes place in Room 2E of the Legislative Office Building.
Please don’t hesitate to call or email me if you’d like to discuss this or any other issue further. I always appreciate hearing from you.