After hours of debate, on Monday, June 3, State Representative Tom Delnicki (R-14) voted against the Connecticut Democrat budget because it raises hundreds of millions in sales taxes, raids the transportation fund to pay for ongoing services and hikes income taxes on thousands of small business owners.
Rep. Delnicki said, “It was a long day and here we go again with passing a budget in the dark of night. I received the budget which was nearly 600 pages on Sunday night and immediately looked at it to be prepared for Monday. What struck me about this budget was that it is filled with taxes, taxes and more taxes. My colleagues and I tried to make it better, but to no avail. I could not support raising taxes on my friends and neighbors that are just making ends meet.”
Parking tax, digital downloads, prepared meals, dry cleaning, restaurants, plastic bags and scores of other goods and services will all cost Connecticut consumers more beginning July 1 due to sales tax hikes. Thousands of business owners operating as LLCs will pay an estimated $50 million more in income taxes under the Pass Through Entity tax because of the scheme hatched by the majority in order to close an estimated $3 billion deficit over the next two years that is of their making.
The budget was passed 86 to 65 with five Democrats joining all Republicans in opposition. Overall, taxes were raised by $752 million over two years, not including the tax on hospitals.
Instead, Republicans offered a series of amendments to reduce government spending, shrink the bloated bureaucracy, privatize certain state agencies, and preserve funding for the Special Transportation Fund (STF). and keep intact pension exemptions for seniors, as well as send more money for towns and cities. Municipalities would get an additional five percent in funding in the second year of the budget.
The Republican amendments relied on spending cuts to the taxpayer-funded Citizen Election Program which lawmakers rely on to fund their campaigns, furlough days for non-union state employees, privatization of certain agencies that provide social services, reductions in benefits for state retirees and the elimination of the Earned Income Tax Credit for workers who generally don’t pay income taxes.
The Republican amendments included the following:
- Preserve the property tax credits that businesses receive while operating as LLCs.
- Block the re-financing of the teachers’ pension fund that will cost the next generation of taxpayers $27 billion more because the payments will be stretched out for an additional 14 years
- Block the diversion of $171 million over the next two years in new car sales revenue from the STF to the general fund
Republicans also proposed increasing aid to towns and cities and an omnibus pro-business plan that would be paid for through spending cuts and savings in government programs.
The pro-business amendment had several provisions:
- Repeal the business entity tax
- Phase out the capital stock tax
- The alternative Paid Family Medical Leave Act (FMLA) plan that would be optional and not a mandatory payroll tax