Posted on March 14, 2019 by Greg MacKinnon
This Friday, the Finance, Revenue, and Bonding Committee of the General Assembly will be holding a public hearing on Governor Lamont’s proposed revenue budget and the Senate Democrat Leader’s proposal to institute a statewide property tax and a statewide car tax.
As you may have heard, Governor Lamont’s proposed budget expands many taxes, including the sales tax to cover many previously exempted items; such as non-prescription drugs, digital downloads like Netflix, children’s car seats and bicycle helmets, dry cleaning, barber shops, beauty salons, veterinary services, parking, newspapers and a wide range of professional services including legal, accounting, interior design, real estate, and sports and recreation instruction. All totaled the tax expansions will cost Connecticut families about $300 million more in the 2020 fiscal year and about $500 million more in the 2021 fiscal year. His proposal would also place a 10 cent surcharge on plastic bags and a 1.5 cent tax per ounce on sugar-sweetened beverages, like soda, juice, and sports drinks, among many other new or expanded taxes.
Additionally, his budget proposal would eliminate the increased exemption on Social Security income and the phase-in of the exemption for pension and annuity income passed in the bipartisan budgets of the last two years, leading to higher income taxes on seniors and other retirees.
Governor Lamont’s proposal would also divert funds intended for the Special Transportation Fund (STF) in to the General Fund, essentially making the STF insolvent within a couple years and circumventing the constitutional lockbox passed overwhelming by the residents of Connecticut just last November.
You can read more about the Governor’s proposed increases here: SB 877 ‘An Act Concerning Revenue Items to Implement the Governor’s Budget’
Another new tax up for a public hearing on Friday is SB 431 “An Act Concerning Property Tax Reform” proposed by Senate Democrat Leader Martin Looney (D- New Haven). The legislation would impose a new 1 mill statewide property tax, enact a new statewide motor vehicle tax, and eliminate the existing municipal motor vehicle tax. The proposal would further shift the property tax burden on to homeowners and local businesses, and move property tax revenue generated in our towns to distressed larger cities.
You can read more about this proposed tax increase here: SB 431 ‘An Act Concerning Property Tax Reform’
I would like to hear your opinion on these proposed tax increases. This legislation will be heard by the committee on Friday, March 15th, at the State Legislative Office Building.
Expressing your opinion can be as simple as sending an email as public testimony on the proposals. Below are the instructions on how to send in brief testimony:
If you can, you may also attend the public hearing on Friday, March 15th at 10:30 a.m. in Room 2E of the Legislative Office Building to testify in person as well.
Please note: All public testimony is entered into the public record, and may be accessible via search engines like other public documents.
If you have further questions about these proposals, or any other issue regarding our state government, please do not hesitate to contact me.