Living in Connecticut may become more ‘tax’ing [FoxCT]

May 1, 2015

Article as it appeared on FOXCT.com

HARTFORD–Democrats in the General Assembly’s Finance Committee proposed raising taxes to the tune of $1.8 billion over two years on Wednesday.

The plan was unveiled as an option to pay for the budget that just passed the Democrat-controlled Appropriations Committee. The budget would restore funds to many of the social services that Gov. Dannel Malloy proposed cutting in his budget. It would also cost about $500 million more.

The tax plan centers on lowering the sales tax from 6.35 percent to 5.85 percent, but extending it to new services, such as veterinary appointments, building inspections and rounds of golf.

“This certainly can’t help. Whether it’s significant or not, who knows? But it’s not in the right direction for us and we’re already squeezed pretty tough,” said Mike Milano, owner of the Quarry Ridge Golf Course in Portland.

Democrats argued that the plan will not hurt the middle class because some of the collected revenue from the sales tax will be given to municipalities.

“It brings accountability to municipalities for property tax reform and it gives them a financial incentive to do that,” co-chair of the Finance Committee, Rep. Jeffrey Berger, said.

The plan also raises the state income tax on individuals making more than $500,000 and couples making more than $1 million from 6.5 percent to 6.99 percent. It adds a 2 percent capital gains tax as well.

“We are going to have a very deleterious effect on the private sector,” Republican Sen. Scott Franz said.

Republican leaders were quick to criticize the plan Wednesday, calling for a public hearing to discuss the proposed tax increases.

“There is so little trust in government and politics these days. When we do stuff like this, do you blame them?” House minority leader Rep. Themis Klarides said.

The governor also criticized the plan, calling it painful for middle class families and small businesses.

“’The governor believes that we should not ask more of our middle-class — and that’s why he did not propose any new taxes on working families,” a statement from Malloy’s office said.