Hey, did anyone see our own Syesha Mercado knock it out of the park tonight, singing If I Were Your Woman on American Idol? Yes, Syesha is Bridgeport born and raised and in the top 10. Randy Jackson said “Blazing hot.” Paula Abdul said “You’re the dark horse” and dour Simon said he liked it, but …
Vote Syesha, baby!
Would you juice the state sales tax one point in Connecticut cities–from six to seven percent–to allow mayors to raise additional revenues? That’s what four Connecticut mayors, including Bill Finch, asked the Connecticut legislature to do on Monday. Doing so would generate millions in new revenues for the cities, say proponents. Opponents say it will force people to shop outside the cities.
Cities are hurting and Bridgeport, the state’s largest city, perhaps more than any other. The state needs to do something more dramatic than ramping sales taxes in cities. I say cut taxes in cities, specifically the personal income tax. You want to urge businesses to locate in urban areas? How about placing a moratorium on taxing the income of folks that either live or work in cities? (Shelton doesn’t count!)
Okay, so how do you make up the loss in revenue? The revenue that the state loses in the short term is dwarfed by what the cities would gain long term in the way of job creation and local property tax revenue. I’m no economist (aren’t you relieved) but maybe some bean counter in Hartford could measure the losses short term versus the gains long term.
Bring your business to Bridgeport and we won’t charge income taxes!
Or if that doesn’t work maybe it’s time we stick a tollbooth in front of the casinos and wire the revenue to Bridgeport!
Hey, what’s the deal with the city covering the legal fees of imprisoned former Mayor Joe Ganim accused in a lawsuit of torpedoing a developer’s plans for Steelpointe in favor of a major campaign contributor? The city is paying two sets of outside lawyers, one representing the city against the civil claims, another on Ganim’s behalf because state law, according to the city attorney, requires that Ganim be covered against civil complaints in the performance of his duties. The time period of the complaint goes back to when Ganim was mayor. The lawyer paid by the city to protect Ganim charges $200 per hour. So, there’s no in-house city staff lawyer capable of defending the city and Ganim?
Meanwhile, the billable hours keep on ticking.
City Hall press release on mayoral call to increase state sales tax in cities:
Mayors Seek “Penny Tax” Increase to Boost Urban Revenues
Mayor Bill Finch (D-Bridgeport) testified yesterday in front of the General Assembly’s Finance Committee in support of House Bill 5929, “AN ACT CONCERNING A MUNICIPAL OPTION TO LEVY LOCAL TAXES.” The Mayor was joined by his colleagues from the Urban Mayors Caucus, including Mayor Kevin Cavanagh of New London, Mayor John DeStefano of New Haven and Mayor Dannel Malloy of Stamford, who also are in support of the bill to increase revenues in urban areas.
“In the face of a challenging financial situation, urban centers are often forced to raise property taxes on already-burdened taxpayers,” said Mayor Finch. “By raising the sales tax on selected goods and services by one percent, we could potentially see a revenue increase of $8.7 million in Bridgeport alone.
“Many people who spend money in urban areas do not live in the city, so the burden of a .01 sales tax increase is shared by the region, not placed directly on city residents.”
The bill would allow municipalities, by vote of their legislative bodies, the option of “piggy-backing” an additional sales tax onto specific goods and services sold in that area.
The Mayor added, “I will do everything within my power to shift the burden of our property tax system off of Bridgeport residents. This legislation could bring Bridgeport taxpayers significant relief.”