A “Mansion Tax”? Seriously?

December 2, 2015

By Sen. Toni Boucher

In a recent interview, one of the Democrat leaders in the Connecticut legislature suggested that a new “mansion tax” be considered.

The Connecticut “mansion tax” would add a statewide property tax on high-end homes above and beyond the municipal property taxes already paid by property owners.

After reading that, I thought, “You can’t be serious.”

Unfortunately, it’s true.

The idea of a Connecticut “mansion tax” is being seriously considered as a future solution to balance Connecticut’s budget.

But, consider the following:

  • Majority Democrats in the legislature and the Governor have already reached deep into the pockets of Connecticut’s most successful residents over the past five years.
  • The highest marginal income tax rate has been hiked to 6.99 %.
  • The sales and use tax rate on “luxury items” has been increased from 7 % to 7.75 % with respect to motor vehicles costing $50,000 or more, jewelry costing $5,000 or more and clothing, footwear and accessories costing $1,000 or more.
  • The income tax rate for trusts and estates has been hiked to 6.99 %.
  • The 20% corporation income tax surcharge, which had been slated to sunset, has been extended.
  • Since 2011, the decision-makers in Hartford have passed the two largest tax hikes in state history along with over 70 new taxes.

As if that were not enough, they are now eyeing people’s homes.

Republicans and I have argued that punishing the successful is not the answer to Connecticut’s budget woes. It only drives them and the jobs they create out of state and results in even lower revenues. We continue to stress that long-term structural changes to the way our state spends your tax dollars is the best way to put Connecticut back on a sustainable path. Our Republican budget alternatives provide those solutions in detail and contain no new taxes and no tolls while protecting services for our most vulnerable residents.

You may recall a few months ago a “mileage tax” was being considered in Hartford. I quickly shined a light on this poor policy idea, which would have taxed you by the mile using a GPS device in your vehicle. At my urging, many of you spoke out and the notion of a mileage tax quickly faded away.

You can be sure I’ll also be shining a very bright light on the idea of a “mansion tax”. Our home builders and realtors are especially sensitive to proposals that further provide disincentives to living, working and raising a family in Connecticut.

Proposals such as the unitary tax, mileage tax, and now a mansion tax cast a dark shadow on our state’s economy. Even debating these new potential taxes sends the wrong message to taxpayers and those who are looking to grow jobs here. There is a reason General Electric is weighing options to move its headquarters and hundreds of great jobs out of Connecticut. They and other businesses have watched negative policies such as these increasingly passed in Hartford and feel they are unfair and burdensome. Who can blame them for looking at more attractive options?

It would seem inconceivable that anyone would seriously bring up the idea of a “mansion tax” after all the recent tax hikes that have made Connecticut the nation’s most expensive state, yet they have.

Please feel free to contact me at [email protected] or at 800-842-1421 on this issue or with other concerns you may have. I welcome your feedback.