The state budget that was modified to mollify corporate suits who freaked over additional taxes was signed into law today by Governor Dan Malloy who touts major investments in transportation infrastructure, his Second Chance Society initiative and capping car taxes at 32 mils in 2017 and 29.5 mils in 2018, a second-year reduction by almost a third from Bridgeport’s current tax rate.
Under the car tax plan the state will reimburse municipalities for revenue losses as a result of the mil rate drop for higher taxed communities. Malloy says the budget holds spending growth to 3.9% in 2016 and 3.0% in the following fiscal year. Malloy news release:
Beyond responsible spending, investments in transportation that will help transform the way we travel, and tax relief for households, the budget also funds the bipartisan Second Chance Society initiative the Governor launched this year. With crime at a more than 40-year low, by making our criminal justice system fairer, Connecticut is working to drive it down even further by ending a cycle of crime and poverty.
Working with the General Assembly, Governor Malloy heard the concerns from Connecticut’’s business community and rolled back increases to the data processing and World Wide Web services taxes, while delaying the implementation of the unitary tax until 2016. Those improvements to the budget were paid for with responsible spending reductions.
“This was a difficult budget with no easy or popular decisions. But listening to many communities across the state, from business to non-profit to our municipalities, I believe we have a budget that helps deliver prosperity for the future. Working together, we made the difficult choices necessary to put Connecticut on the long-term path to success, while making major investments in transportation as well as providing car and property tax relief,” Governor Malloy said. “I want to thank our partners in the General Assembly for their hard work and commitment on these important issues.”
Lt. Governor Nancy Wyman said, “This budget expresses Connecticut’s commitment to our future–to a stronger transportation network that ensures we are moving people and products efficiently; a growing economy that creates good paying jobs for our residents and drives expansion of our global footprint; and strong communities with high-quality schools, accessible healthcare, and safe neighborhoods. I congratulate Governor Malloy and the General Assembly for their leadership and advocacy.”
“For the first time in our state’s history, we will diversify our local tax base by providing municipalities with a revenue source other than property taxes,” Senate President Martin M. Looney (D-New Haven) said. “The result: historic property tax relief for middle-class families and businesses. This budget levels the playing field for small businesses from Main Street to our largest employers and makes a once-in-a-generation investment in transportation infrastructure. We did this while preserving core programs for our most vulnerable children and seniors.”
“This budget provides real property tax relief for the middle class, protects vital services families rely on every day, and invests in Connecticut’s long-term economic future,” said Speaker of the House Brendan Sharkey (D-Hamden). “We listened to the concerns of our constituents and business community to make it work better for everyone in our state, and begin to set us on a more stable, equitable path going forward.”
The budget includes the largest investment in transportation infrastructure in Connecticut history:
• The adopted state budget includes the largest transportation investments in Connecticut history, which will launch a new era of infrastructure improvements to give Connecticut a best-in-class transportation system.
• This will include a $2.8 billion increase for infrastructure over the next five years, including $1.77 billion for rail, $613 million for highways, $281 million for bridges, $101 million for bicycle and pedestrian trails, and $43 million for bus service. In total over the next five years, approximately $10 billion will be spent on transportation between this budget, planned capital spending, and federal funds.
• Projects include fixing the “Mixmaster” on I-84 in Waterbury, as well as the Hartford I-84 Viaduct. For rail, it will allow Connecticut to complete the Hartford Line running from New Haven to Springfield, and also to increase service on the New Haven Line with improvements to all branch lines including New Canaan, Danbury and Waterbury. It also includes historic, first-of-their-kind investments in local bike and pedestrian improvements throughout our state.
• In recent decades, Connecticut has not kept up with a needed modernization of its transportation systems. With the adopted state budget, Connecticut is entering into a new era that will deliver a best-in-class transportation system.