The State of Connecticut in the Eyes of a Newborn

May 9, 2011

The state of Connecticut recently passed a budget that will affect each and every resident, regardless of age.

Beginning with a child’s birth, the parents and family of a newborn baby will feel the tax burden that is the state budget. Connecticut’s state-of-the-art hospitals are now the subject of a hospital tax which will result in added costs to for patients and families. So as the family and newborn leave the hospital, they will pay dearly for their time spent. And that same family, who has been preparing for the arrival of their newest member, also feels the increased costs when buying a new SUV to keep their child safe and secure. The luxury tax on their new vehicle comes at 7 percent of the sticker price, adding hundreds of dollars more to the cost.

The father of this young family is also a business owner who uses their SUV for company work. As he travels the state in his diesel engine vehicle, he now pays an added three cents per gallon at the pump. In order to account for the increased costs of fuel and the 100 percent increase in the corporate surcharge, this man will be laying-off staff just to keep his company’s doors open in Connecticut.

This same family is also going to be incurring greater expenses at home. The new state budget drives up the cost of living with increases in the income tax and sales tax. Everything from diapers to the clothing necessary to keep up with a growing child is taxed. Even the emergency trips mom or dad make to the pharmacy in the middle of the night for their sick toddler will be taxed.

When their child grows into the teen years and is granted the freedom to begin driving, that 16 year-old will be paying more at the DMV due to increased licensing fees. Like most, this young teen has invested a life-savings into an affordable but very old car. As expected, this old car breaks down on the side of the road requiring the teen and family to pay for services. Both towing and road side services are taxed with the new state budget, and worse, should the family need a rental car in the interim, they will be forced to pay a new car rental tax of 9.35 percent.

At age 18, the family sends their child to the University of Connecticut but will be shelling out more due to increases in the cost of in-state tuition. Thankfully, the budget flat funds the Connecticut Aid to Public College Students Grant (CAPCS) to help offset tuition fees, but it does cut funding to the Connecticut Independent College Student Grant making it is more difficult for families to pay for private education.

When this family receives the news that their child will be getting married they are overjoyed, but worry about the costs associated with the reception and accommodations. For the ceremony, the bride and groom will pay a luxury tax on the wedding dress and rings, and at the reception they will pay a cabaret tax of 3 percent on every meal, drink and song played. And when their guests check out of their hotel rooms, they will be paying a 15 percent hotel tax.

While these parents watch their child grow into an adult, they themselves continue to age and think about their own passing. These two parents make a decision to be cremated, and in doing so will be forced to account for a 300 percent increase in the cost of cremation.

The budget passed and signed by our governor is truly one that extends a new or increased tax on every facet of our lives, and that is why I stood in opposition by voting ‘no.’ Connecticut families and businesses deserve a state budget that supports their needs and does not ask for more.