CAPITOL UPDATE: March 5, 2021

Posted on March 5, 2021

BILL SPOTLIGHT: More Than a “Mansion Tax”

I want to make sure that SB 172 is on your radar as it moves through the legislative process. “AN ACT ESTABLISHING A STATE-WIDE ASSESSMENT TO ENCOURAGE AFFORDABLE HOUSING IN THE STATE.”  While the bill is being commonly referred to as a “mansion” or “house” tax, clearly that is misleading. Opponents and the media are forgetting a very important component of the property tax proposal: Commercial Properties

SB 172 proposes a new, statewide property tax on:

  • Residential properties assessed at $300,000 or more
  • All Commercial properties (no minimum/exception)

Here come more burdens to cash-strapped companies who have had to:

  • close their doors through the COVID-19 lockdown
  • reopen with lofty requirements and reduced hours
  • invest thousands of dollars in infrastructure and supplies to reopen and be pandemic-compliant

How does an additional property tax help our restaurants or small businesses?

Senator Looney has decided to make good on decades worth of broken promises for municipal funding, and he is forcing Connecticut’s business community to foot the bill.

But it’s in the name of affordable housing?

Let’s be clear – there is nothing about our state that businesses would categorize as “affordable.” This proposal is the same old strategy: no spending cuts and more taxes.

This is an unacceptable “solution” if it will cause hundreds more financially-and-pandemic-battered businesses to close their doors.

I will keep you informed as to where this bill is in the process and provide you with the details on how you can testify both at the virtual hearing and in writing.


Poor Roll-Out of New Paid Family and Medical Leave Program

House Republicans on Tuesday called for a temporary suspension of the state’s new paid family and medical leave program citing the comptroller’s failure to start mandatory payroll deductions from non-unionized state employees.

“It’s outrageous that state government has yet to deduct a dime from the paychecks of its own employees while the paid family leave authority is urging private sector employers to comply,” said House Republican Leader Vincent Candelora. “That the state didn’t have a method to make its own payroll deductions is further evidence this program wasn’t ready for prime time, and these types of issues, combined with the pandemic, bolsters the argument that implementation of this program should have been delayed.”

The state’s new paid family and medical leave program, approved by Democrats in 2019, went into effect Jan. 1. It created a mandatory payroll deduction of 0.5 percent for private sector and non-unionized state employees. The state-run CT Paid Leave Authority on Thursday reported that roughly 44,000 businesses have yet to comply with the March 1 registration requirement, a step necessary for employers to begin payroll deductions.

Late last year, House Republicans repeatedly called for Gov. Lamont to delay implementation of the program, citing the stress it would place on businesses and cash-strapped residents.