Working Hard & Long To Pay Taxes By Senator Rob Kane

April 23, 2010

Congratulations to us! According to the Tax Foundation, we Connecticut citizens have finally worked long enough this year to pay our local, state and federal taxes!

Really, it’s about time. Tax Freedom Day for the United States as a whole was April 9th this year. We did not celebrate tax freedom day here until April 27th, making Connecticut the last state to do so. What that means according to this Washington, D.C. based nonpartisan organization’s calculations is that we Connecticut residents worked 117 days this year – more days than the residents of any other state – to pay our taxes. Of course, there are a lot of reasons for this. The Tax Foundation’s annual Tax Freedom Day report notes that Connecticut usually celebrates last and states that: “Because Connecticut’s income per capita is higher than in any other state, its residents pay extraordinarily high federal income taxes.” I think it is safe to say that most Connecticut residents believe we also pay high state and local taxes.

A great deal more information about the Tax Foundation, including the methodology it uses to determine Tax Freedom Day for the nation as a whole and for each individual state, is available on it is website at Among other things, the Tax Foundation bases its calculations on an assumption that the nation begins work on January 1st, earning the same amount each day and spending nothing right up to the country’s Tax Freedom Day when we have collectively earned enough to meet our tax obligations for the year.

Many of you are probably wondering why Connecticut’s fiscal situation is so precarious when we are considered wealthy enough as a state to celebrate Tax Freedom Day later in the year. Clearly, one reason is that our state government is too big and spends too much. Fortunately, we seem to be making some progress addressing this issue. Earlier this month, the General Assembly adopted a deficit mitigation plan to significantly reduce the $350 million shortfall projected for this fiscal year. Now, legislators must build on that success to pass a workable, responsible state budget for next year – hopefully, by the time the legislative session ends on May 5th.

On April 15th – the deadline for filing state and federal tax returns – Republican legislators unveiled our proposal for passing a balanced budget for the upcoming fiscal year. Like the newly adopted deficit mitigation plan, our budget proposal for Fiscal Year 2011 does not call for raising taxes. Instead, we are calling for the General Assembly to pass a new state budget that would produce enough savings to allow us to make significant, necessary, investments for our future at a cost taxpayers can afford.

Highlights of our Republican state budget proposal include:

* Cutting $58 million from various line items to lower spending to 2009 levels.

* Saving $64 million through an early retirement program for state workers, along with $10 million by consolidating state agencies; $6.4 million by getting rid of certain state office leases; $20 million by privatizing certain state functions; $150 million by securing additional concessions from state workers; and $3.8 million by cutting legislators’ pay, and eliminating our mailing privileges and travel.

* Restoring $200 million in previously cancelled contributions to state employee pensions; saving Connecticut companies $32 million by eliminating the annual Business Entity tax; creating a $25 million Small Business Revolving Loan Fund; and making available up to $17.5 million in tax credits for companies that hire off the unemployment rolls.

As always, I encourage you to share your concerns and ideas with me. I can be reached at my legislative office in Hartford at 1-800-842-1421 or via e-mail to [email protected].

Senator Rob Kane represents the 32nd Senatorial District, which includes the communities of Bethlehem, Bridgewater, Middlebury, Oxford, Seymour, Southbury, Thomaston, Roxbury, Watertown and Woodbury.