Senator Martin Grills OPM on Cuts to Seniors’ Tax Relief

February 28, 2019

Excerpts from CT Mirror Story :

Gov. Ned Lamont’s budget director, Melissa McCaw, ran the gantlet Wednesday as she discussed tolls and taxes with the legislature’s Finance, Revenue and Bonding Committee.

Republican legislators charged the new Democratic governor with straying too far from his campaign promises. 

McCaw countered that Lamont wants to end Connecticut’s cycle of deficits, and said legislators have a bad habit of promising programs and tax cuts in future years — with no plan for how to pay for them.

Lamont, who said during the campaign that he would support tolls only on trucks, not only offered an option last week to toll all vehicles, but also argued that the trucks-only option doesn’t work financially.

At the same time, he also proposed canceling nearly $270 million in vehicle sales tax receipts pledged to the transportation program over the next to years.

Sen. Henri Martin, R-Bristol, objected to Lamont’s recommendation to suspend previously approved income tax cuts for seniors. This relief — enhanced exemptions on Social Security income, pensions and annuities — was enacted 16 months ago, but scheduled to take effect in 2019.

“It just seems counterproductive to the message we are trying to send to the general public, that we are trying to get our fiscal house in order and we don’t want you to leave the state of Connecticut,” Martin said.

GOP, McCaw spar over tolls, tax hikes in Lamont budget