State Rep. Harry Arora: Legislative Survey, new state property taxes, zoning rules, marijuana legalization, sports gambling etc.

Posted on January 31, 2021 by jdooley

Dear friends and neighbors,

There are some substantive issues that are up for discussion and vote in the upcoming legislative session in Hartford. The legislature is considering bills that would legalize recreational marijuana, permit sports gambling, improve utility regulation, impose new state-level property taxes and enact state-mandated zoning rules. Please click HERE to take a short survey and give me your opinion on these issues.

Here is a quick summary –

1. Legalizing marijuana usage for recreation – Many of our surrounding states have adopted such legislation. While there are pros and cons for this proposal, the proponents argue that if we do not legalize marijuana, we lose revenues while citizens in our state still get easy access in adjoining states.

2. Legalizing sports gambling – Though not currently legally permitted, many CT residents already participate in sports gambling via online platforms that are legal in other states. Legalizing sports betting would allow us to regulate the industry and also collect some tax revenues.

3. Improving utility regulation – Our electric rates in CT at around 24c/kWhr are amongst the highest of any state in the country. Improving our regulatory regime is critical to reducing prices. Separating some of the non-utility items out of the electric bill is another way to achieve that objective. This is a bill I am proposing in the legislature.

4. A state-wide property tax is being considered on homes classified as mansions, defined as properties assessed over $430,000. A $430,000 house is not a mansion in our communities. I oppose this new state-level tax.

5. There are bills being proposed for state-mandated zoning rules:
* Every single-family home in CT would have the right to add an additional dwelling unit (ADU), which could be rented separately. This would result in doubling the supply of dwellings in our towns, leading to lower home prices, increased congestion, and stress on our schools.
* In all towns in CT, the areas around main-street and train stations would be allowed higher density development (i.e, high rise buildings) by state mandate. This would lead to a spate of apartment developments in all gold coast towns and have a major adverse impact on the value of our homes. The idea behind this bill is to promote urban development and constrain local control and self-rule – the quintessential values of our state and our country.

I need your input on these major legislative proposals. Please take THIS survey to share your views. If you have questions or comments do not hesitate to reach out via email, text, or phone. My cell is 203-571-9325