Posted on May 13, 2022
I voted against the proposed budget adjustments for the fiscal year ending in 2023 which were released around 4:30 a.m. Monday, May 2nd and taken up later that day in the House of Representatives. The budget passed the General Assembly with a near party line vote.
Overall, the package will increase spending by 6.4% over the previous year adding $1.4 billion to the budget. Much of the spending involves one-time allocations setting up fiscal cliffs, and election year gimmicks and pork to support favored constituencies. Included is unessential and unnecessary spending like $2M for direct flights to Jamaica, $1.5M for a study to eliminate Brainard Airport, and tens of millions of dollars to municipalities for projects we shouldn’t be subsidizing like a website for the Town of Durham, tennis courts for Valley Regional and Montville, and windows at Bethany Town Hall.
There is modest tax relief for some, most of which is only guaranteed for one year. Included is an increased property tax credit to $300 based on income levels, a $250 child tax credit, for up to three children, based on income levels, and a motor vehicle property tax cap which will only reduce car taxes in cities and towns with high mill rates. The motor vehicle tax cap will be subsidized by additional spending paid for by taxpayers like you.
Republicans offered an amendment which would have provided more substantial broad-based relief. The proposal included reducing the income tax from 5% to 4% for middle- and low-income filers, sales tax reduction to 5.99%, extending the gas tax holiday and adding diesel, preventing the highway use tax, restoring the property tax credit, and replenishing the unemployment insurance trust fund among other changes. Ultimately the amendment failed on a party line vote.