Lawmaker convenes ‘reunion’ of anti-tax advocates [Journal Inquirer]

August 22, 2011

By Don Michak
Journal Inquirer
Published: Monday, August 22, 2011

One of the most vociferous opponents of the state income tax has organized what he calls a “reunion” in Vernon of those who fought against the enactment of the tax two decades ago.

Sen. Joseph C. Markley, R-Southington, says the gathering is slated for outside the Rockville Elks Lodge on Saturday, Aug. 27, at 6 p.m.

Markley, a co-founder of the Connecticut Taxpayers Committee, helped organize the “Axe the Tax” rally that drew an estimated 65,000 people to the state Capitol to protest former Gov. Lowell P. Weicker Jr.’s initial call to implement a state income tax.

Markley on Sunday announced his plans for the “reunion,” calling the levy implemented in 1991 “Connecticut’s cancer” that he and other opponents had warned “would become a massive new license for state government to spend.”

“That cancer continued to spread this year when Democrats passed a budget with a new income tax increase retroactive to Jan. 1,” he said. “Government continues to increase state spending and continues to reach deeper into your pockets. Connecticut taxpayers should ask themselves a simple question: Are you better off today than you were 20 years ago?

Markley was first elected to the state Senate in 1984 but lost his seat two years later. Now known as a tea party advocate, Markley was re-elected to the Senate in 2010.

Prior to that election, Markley had lodged a lawsuit in New Britain Superior Court challenging the state’s right to impose an electricity bill surcharge to pay for borrowing.

The complaint, which led state Treasurer Denise L. Nappier to delay the sale of state bonds that would be funded by the surcharges, was thrown out by a judge in December.

Markley in May also asked U.S. House Speaker John Boehner to reject $460 million in federal funds earmarked for a busway from New Britain to Hartford, saying it would be a big waste of money. The busway had been approved by Gov. Dannel P. Malloy and the State Bond Commission.