Fasano: Democrats Own CT’s New Grocery Tax, Must Repeal in Special Session

September 17, 2019

Fasano Statement re: Gov. Lamont Backpedaling and Democrat Lawmakers Finger Pointing on New Food Taxes

Senate Republican Leader Len Fasano (R-North Haven) released the following statement in response to Democrat lawmakers blaming the Department of Revenue Services Commissioner for the “broad reach” of the new food taxes included in the Democrat state budget, as well as to a tweet sent by Governor Ned Lamont contradicting his own statements made just last week defending the new “Meals Tax” as an intentional tax to pump more revenue into the budget.

“Connecticut Democrats cannot own up to their mistakes. It’s absurd that Democrats are blaming a commissioner whose job is to enforce the law that they wrote. The DRS Commissioner isn’t the one who wants to tax people on their groceries. He is doing his job and reading the law that Democrats drafted and passed. For Democrat lawmakers, and now the governor in yet another flip flop, to lay blame on the DRS Commissioner and ask him to ignore the very language that they wrote is absurd. What good is any law if it can simply be ignored by request of a legislator?

“If Democrats no longer want to tax groceries, they need to go into special session and undo the law they passed. The legislation Democrats wrote very clearly states that the sales tax will be expanded to ‘grocery stores.’ Their intention in the legislation is clear as day. Democrat lawmakers and Governor Lamont own this new grocery tax. They cannot blame anyone else for what is written in the budget and how it will be enforced. If they now regret their actions, they need to admit their mistakes and fix the legislation in a special session.

“When legislation doesn’t turn out the way lawmakers want we have always returned in special sessions or passed legislation to revise the law. For example, the legislature returned in a special session in 2018 to restore funds for the Medicare Savings Program. We also passed a bill to clarify the Hartford bailout agreement, although sadly that was killed in a veto that Democrats refused to overturn. The point is, when we want to change a law legislators have to admit their mistakes and fix the law with legislation. You cannot just tell people to ignore the law exists.”