Beat the Taxes

June 23, 2011

On July 4, 1776, Congress adopted our Declaration of Independence and the United States celebrated its new found freedom from Great Britain – freedom from taxes and tyranny. But on this Independence Day, the State of Connecticut will be will be taking a step back in history and will suffer the burden so many fought against.

Beginning July 1st, you and your family will feel the effects of the state budget and tax package passed by the General Assembly and the Governor. Everything from the shoes on your children’s feet to the livery services your elderly family members rely on will cost more.

Among the tax increases set to start next month, we will see the general sales and use tax rate increase from 6 percent to 6.35 percent; the hotel tax increase from 12 percent to 15 percent; the tax on the rental cars increase from 6 percent to 9.35 percent; and a luxury sales tax of 7 percent applied to the sale of certain motor vehicles, vessels, jewelry, and articles of clothing or footwear.

The litany goes on to include many new taxes. Clothing under $50; hazardous waste removal; valet parking at airports; yoga classes; car storage; roadside services; Dial-a-Ride and other livery services; pet grooming, boarding and training; cosmetic procedures; manicures and spa services will all be subject to the 6.35 percent sales tax.

Another tax, known as an excise tax, will be increased on all tobacco products, tobacco cessation products and alcohol. The tax on a pack of cigarettes will increase to $3.40 per pack and the tax on alcohol will jump up by 20 percent – all at the expense of the consumer and businesses. Once implemented, Connecticut’s excise tax will rank among the six highest in the nation.

Your family’s summer activities will not escape the tax package either. Admissions charges for events at venues across the state are taxable. Now, when you go to a show at the Hartford Civic Center, watch vintage car races at Lime Rock Park, visit Nature’s Art, or enjoy the New Britain Rock Cats games, you’ll pay more.

The list of taxation levied by the majority party and the Governor goes on to include changes to the income tax, estate tax, gift tax, hospital tax, and more. The effective dates for these vary, but will still be implemented this calendar year. A complete list of all the new and increased taxes can be found at the State of Connecticut Department of Revenue Services website:

With the onset of these new taxes just days away, I encourage you and your families to squeeze in last minute shopping for holiday barbeques and beach trips before the July 1st increase – beat the tax hike!

While we at home have all been working to cut or defray our own costs, state government has clearly not been doing the same. Each of these new and increased taxes exacerbates the state’s high level of spending and will result in a loss of families, businesses and ultimately revenue. The General Assembly has no place implementing any of these new taxes without looking at the spending side of the balance sheet. Going forward I will continue to stand in opposition to measures that come at too great an expense to you and your family.