Mastrofrancesco: Governor’s Budget Hits Taxpayers Hard
HARTFORD- State Rep. Gale Mastrofrancesco (R-80) today was dismayed with Governor Lamont’s state budget proposal which is a direct attack on middle class families with massive tax hike for Wolcott and Southington taxpayers and businesses.
Rep. Mastrofrancesco, “Unfortunately, this plan is quite disappointing. There seems to be little in the way of reduced spending, shrinking of state government, or looking for inefficiencies in government. The theme of the budget speech was all about ‘more revenue’ and not reducing the size and scope of government in our lives and homes.”
The governor’s budget proposes to raise taxes by $1.28 billion in the first year and $1.76 billion in the second year of the two-year budget cycle and also moves to shift 25% of the teachers’ pension cost on to municipalities.
The governor stated he plans to expand the sales tax to include dozens of items not previously taxed, including non-prescription drugs, parking, sugary drinks, plastic bags, bicycle helmets and child car seats, barber shops and beauty salons, veterinary services and others.
Lamont also reversed course on a campaign promise and plans to institute tolls on all vehicles, not just tractor-trailers, across Connecticut. The governor’s proposal is for 52 toll gantry locations on all of Connecticut major highways, including I-95, I-91, I-84, RT. 15.
“Addition to all the new taxes on families, the governor wants to add tolls to every major Connecticut highway to raise $800 million in revenue to the state. That is money is coming out of the wallets and checkbooks of my constituents,” said Rep. Mastrofrancesco.
Both Southington and Wolcott would be hit hard by Governor Lamont’s plan to shift a portion of teachers’ retirement costs onto local municipalities. Under his plan, most towns would pay 25%. If a town is above the median teacher salary for state they would pay more than 25%.
The governor also proposed to shift toward a policy of penalizing towns that refuse to cede local control of their education by threatening to hold back education dollars, another way to push forced regionalization.
Although, Gov. Lamont talked about getting $2 Billion in state union concessions in his address, the state union minutes after the speech issued a statement that they will not negotiate any state employee givebacks.
That same day, Rep. Mastrofrancesco voted against two state employee contracts in the House of Representatives due to their extravagant pay raises. The two agreements require $6 million in wage increases over the next two and a half years. All employees will receive at 3.5% increase next year and following year. Many will also receive bonuses, annual increments, lump sums, and longevity pay.