Sen. Kane Op-Ed: “Did you vote for these tax hikes or not?”

July 6, 2012

This week, the state’s tax on diesel fuel jumped to 52 cents per gallon. The diesel fuel tax in Connecticut is way out of whack with the tax in surrounding states. In fact it’s the highest fuel tax in the country.

Republicans fought against the tax hike, but were outnumbered by our Democrat colleagues in the state legislature.

Make no mistake: This tax hike will impact all of us.

It’s a tax hike on businesses. There are thousands of commercial truck drivers in Connecticut, working for about 5,500 companies large and small.

It’s a tax on consumers. The trucking industry has no choice but to pass the increase along to consumers who buy the items that the trucks transport every day of the week.

The bottom line? Expect to pay more for what you buy, wherever you buy it in the Constitution State.

Speaking of paying more, we also just hit the one-year, not-so-happy anniversary of the 2011 tax hikes.

Gov. Dannel P. Malloy and democrats in the state legislature increased state taxes a record $2.6 billion and upped government spending $1.3 billion. How has it impacted you? Let’s count the ways:

Workers now pay more income taxes. The income tax was raised on individuals making as little as $50,000 and couples making at least $100,000.

That $500 property tax credit you used to take was reduced to $300.

A 20-percent corporate income tax surcharge was enacted.

Taxes were raised on everyday purchases and luxuries, because the sales tax was hiked.

Taxes on beer, wine and liquor, cigarettes and other tobacco products went up.

A new tax on electric generation was created.

Rising taxes increased the costs of renting cars and hotel rooms.

A trip to the beauty spa is now taxed.

The dozens of tax hikes might even impact you after you’re gone. How so?

The state’s cremation certificate fee went up to $150.

One daily newspaper noted that members of Malloy’s administration pegged the cost to the average taxpayer of the tax hikes at $20 per month, but that would be true only if the average taxpayer never bought anything. Altogether, an average Connecticut couple is now coughing up $632.12 in additional taxes a year, or $52.67 a month.

As taxpayers dig ever deeper into their wallets and pocketbooks to pay for the rising costs of Connecticut government, it is time for our elected representatives in Hartford to answer some simple but direct questions.

For starters, one of those questions might be, “So, did you vote for these tax hikes or not?”