State Legislature Approves Budget

Bang a drum, toot a horn, sound a siren–the state legislature passed a budget. Details from the CT Mirror here. More details from CT Post here.

And while lawmakers steered clear of income tax rates, they still cost middle income and working poor households $90.3 million per year by reducing tax credits.

Other tax and fee increases in the plan include:

— A 45-cents per pack increase in the cigarette tax and a related increase on levies for snuff and other tobacco products.

— $10 million to be raised in 2018-19 by reducing tax credits to be identified later by the legislature.

— Restoration of an earlier proposal to tax fantasy sports betting, beginning in the 2018-19 fiscal year.

— A 25-cent fee hike on Ridesharing services

— And a new $10 increase on motor vehicle registration fees to support state parks and other recreational sites in a program titled “Passport to Parks.”

The new budget also reduces some taxes. These cuts include:

— Phasing new federal estate tax exemption levels into the Connecticut estate tax starting in 2018-19.

— Increasing the state income tax exemption for Social Security earnings and creating a new one for certain annuity and pension earnings in the second year of the budget.

— Lowering insurance premium tax rates, which would cost the state $11 million in the first year and $24 million in the second.

Governor Dan Malloy’s Director of Communications Kelly Donnelly released the following statement regarding the state budget:

“Since January, Governor Malloy has been calling on the legislature to take action to adopt a balanced and responsible budget. We recognize that they believe that they have achieved this end and are now sending a budget to him for his consideration and we appreciate their work. At the same time, it is incumbent on the Governor and his administration to carefully review this budget–a complete document of nearly 900 pages that was made available only a few minutes before it was called on the floor.  Unfortunately, our review has already uncovered egregious problems relating to the hospital tax that could put the state budget out of balance by over a billion dollars.  Staff will continue to analyze the bill, weighing its merits and faults, so that the Governor can arrive at an informed and carefully considered decision regarding his support.”

State Senator Marilyn Moore who voted for the budget issued this statement

“While I may not agree with everything that’s in this budget, with an 18-18 tie in the Senate, and narrow Democratic majority in the House, we needed to compromise in order to pass a budget that moves Connecticut forward and addresses structural changes to achieve long-term savings. My constituents have cried ‘get a budget’ and I believe we have come up with one that preserves and protects many of Connecticut’s essential services.

“One thing I am particularly proud of in this budget is that Connecticut’s Two Generation (2GEN) program–a model which I helped implement to help disadvantaged, low-income families sustain themselves–will grow from serving only five towns to now serving the entire State of Connecticut. Since launching the 2GEN model in 2015, Connecticut has become the poster child in New England for this type of approach and I look forward to expanding its reach throughout our state.


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