Posted on February 21, 2019 by Greg MacKinnon
HARTFORD – State Rep. David T. Wilson (R-Litchfield) listened to the governor’s first budget proposal. Governor Lamont presented his plan to manage the state’s finances over the next two years to the state legislature, with the plan mainly utilizing revenue increases to close projected deficits.
“This document will place additional taxes on middle class families and have long-term unintended consequences,” Rep. Wilson explained. “I was baffled when the governor said that in order for us as a state to keep up with modernization, we need to expand what is eligible to be taxed. At the same time, the governor expressed the need for us to become more business friendly, making Connecticut more attractive to younger folks. If budgetary policies raise the cost of living it is counterintuitive to making our state a better place to live.”
According to Rep. Wilson, under Governor Lamont’s budget there will be a myriad of new taxes including, but not limited to, haircuts, industry services, and tolls.
“Everyday life events, like getting a haircut, will be more expensive under this new budget. Placing an additional tax burden on the consumer is just one issue, but imposing new regulations on businesses adds another layer of cost to small businesses. As a result of taxing customers more, business owners will be responsible for more administrative work to accurately report their finances. Consequently, increasing the cost of doing business here and making our state less affordable than it already is,” said Rep. Wilson.
Rep. Wilson also warned that other services will be taxed, like financial services and legal counsel. The unintended consequences of adding a service tax will make the end product more expensive for the consumer. In addition to the new tax, the services themselves will be more expensive in order for business owners to offset their higher operating costs.
In his address the governor mentioned that the current fiscal mess is a result of multiple generations of poor budgetary management. As a result, according to the governor, the only path forward to begin improving the quality of life is to create tolls so that our roads can be fixed and bridges repaired.
“The governor has proposed two forms of tolling, and as of now it isn’t clear if it is actually legal to just tax trucks. The more aggressive proposal, expanding tolling to heavy trucks and regular cars, is not necessary to help fix our infrastructure. Yes, major road improvements can be completed but it would take structural changes that the majority party seems unwilling to discuss at this point in time,” stated Rep. Wilson.
However, the governor did make some points that align with becoming more fiscally responsible.
“While I am discouraged about the budget presentation, I find hope in the fact that the governor has imposed a “debt diet” to all budgetary policies. Theoretically, this should help keep spending in check and take pet projects off the table. I look forward to working with our governor going forward in the budgeting process,” concluded Rep. Wilson.
The legislature will now come up with its own version of a state budget, which will be available in April.