Tax Freedom Day in Connecticut

May 13, 2013

Hartford, CT – State Senators Joe Markley (R-Southington) and Mike McLachlan (R-Danbury) joined by Representative Rob Sampson (R-Wolcott) celebrated Connecticut’s Tax Freedom Day – the day on which the state’s citizens stop working for the government and start working for themselves. This is the latest date for any state in the nation, according to the Tax Foundation.

“This year’s tax freedom date is also eight days later than it was last year, reflecting a truly amazing and alarming jump in our tax burden,” said Sen. Markley. “High taxes – many of them retroactive taxes – have helped create a dismal economic climate in Connecticut.”

Around the nation, Tax Freedom Day arrived on April 18. Connecticut residents work three and a half weeks longer to pay taxes than the average person in American does.

“In this case, last most certainly is least,” Sen. Michael McLachlan (R-Danbury) said. “Connecticut is heading in the wrong direction. In 2011, we endured the largest tax hike in state history. Now, we are faced with a proposed budget which calls for hundreds of millions of dollars in additional revenues. The gas tax, for example, could jump by the largest amount in state history on July 1.”

Rep. Sampson and Sen. Markley at a Tax Freedom Day press conference in the state Capitol lobby.  A replica of the Liberty Bell is in the back ground.

Rep. Sampson and Sen. Markley at a Tax Freedom Day press conference in the state Capitol lobby. A replica of the Liberty Bell is in the back ground.

According to the United States Department of Commerce Bureau of Economic Analysis, personal income growth in Connecticut was only 2% from 2011 to 2012, the second lowest in the country. Since the state income tax was passed in 1991, our state has ranked dead last in economic growth.

Here are some of Connecticut’s taxes at a glance, as reported by the Tax Foundation:

  • Connecticut’s personal income tax system consists of six brackets and a top rate of 6.7%. That rate ranks 18th highest among states levying an individual income tax. Connecticut’s income tax collections per person were $1617 in 2010, which ranked 4th highest nationally.
  • Connecticut’s corporate income tax system consists of a flat rate of 9%. That rate ranks 6th highest among states levying a corporate income tax. Connecticut’s corporate tax collections per person were $142 in 2010, which ranked 12th highest nationally.
  • Connecticut levies a 6.35% general sales or use tax on consumers, which is above the national median of 6%. Connecticut’s state and local governments collect $881 per person in general sales taxes and $623 per person in excise taxes, for a combined figure of $1505, which ranks 15th highest nationally.
  • Connecticut’s gasoline tax stands at 45¢ (4th highest nationally) there is a scheduled increase on the petroleum gross receipts tax for July 1st bringing that from 7% to 8.1%
  • The cigarette tax stands at $3.40 per pack (3rd highest nationally.)
  • Connecticut’s state and local governments collected approximately $2522 per person in property taxes, which ranks 3rd highest nationally.

Connecticut has increased its tax revenue by 15% from 2011 to 2012. Less than 1% of that increase was the result of economic growth; the rest came from higher tax rates and one-time revenues.

The Governor’s Office of Policy and Management (OPM) reported last month that the economic recovery of the state is “quite slow” and shows only “minor growth.”

This legislative session, Sen. Markley introduced a bill to ban retroactive taxes here in Connecticut, like the increase in the state income tax which surprised so many people in 2011. SB 154, An Act Concerning Retroactive Tax Increases, was debated in the Finance, Revenue and Bonding Committee.

“Though I haven’t heard a good argument against my bill, there seems little chance it will even be brought up for a vote this session,” said Sen. Markley.

“The state faces a $2 billion deficit over the next two years, despite the enormous tax hike, largest in state history, in 2011,” added Rep. Sampson. “The problem is wasteful spending.”

The Governor proposed a budget increase in spending over the next two years by nearly 10%. That’s an additional $2.9 billion over two years. The majority party also proposed a budget with an even higher increase in spending suggesting the state budget for approximately $55 million more in spending than the Governor requested.

“We all have an incentive to confront state government’s spending addiction, and that is the preservation of Connecticut’s middle class,” Sen. McLachlan said. “Working families across this state are tapped out, fed up, and afraid of running out of money. Lawmakers who say they are ‘for working people,’ are passing policies which hurt working people and make their jobs less secure. We hope Connecticut taxpayers will stand with us in demanding spending cuts and reductions to our highest-in-the-nation tax burdens. Call your state legislators. Call the governor. On this Tax Freedom Day, we recognize that our freedom is being eroded. Together, we can reclaim it, but we need taxpayers to join with us to demand it.”

All agree we cannot afford to continue in this direction. The Tax Foundation’s report for Connecticut can be viewed here: