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Democrat leaders march forward with proposed tax increases, despite opposition from Lamont

Democratic legislative leaders held a press conference pitching a $46 billion budget proposal from the Appropriations Committee and announcing their intention to push forward with tax increases on Connecticut’s wealthy residents despite opposition from Gov. Ned Lamont.

Democrats in the Finance, Revenue and Bonding Committee passed two taxes increases that would affect the state’s top earners, including a 2 percent capital gains surcharge and a “consumption tax” on the income of those earning $500,000 or more.

“We’re interested in pushing the principle of progressive taxation and progressive revenue structure to whatever extent we possibly can,” said Senate President Pro-Tem Martin Looney, D-New Haven. 

“The capital gains [tax] is something we’ve pushed for three years,” said Speaker of the House Matthew Ritter, D-Hartford. “We believe that a 1 percent on capital gains would be a fair way to bring revenue in and it is really soft income that people don’t have to work for.” 

Under the Finance Committee budget, the proposed tax increases would be diverted from the General Fund and placed in a new Equitable Investment Fund overseen by a nine-member board, including only two elected officials.

Although there has been significant pushback to that plan – including Republicans asking Attorney General William Tong to examine the constitutionality of the fund – Ritter and Looney both said the idea remains alive and they are hoping to establish some kind of fund aimed at investing in Connecticut’s cities and low-income residents.

Ritter and Looney both said that while the $1.6 billion budget deficit has been effectively bridged through the use of federal funds they need the tax increases so the state won’t face a fiscal cliff in year three when federal money disappears.

Ritter added that it is not all about revenue increases but redistributing that tax revenue through a state child tax credit and an expanded earned income tax credit.

“It’s not spending, it’s investing,” said Toni Walker, D-New Haven, and co-chair of the Appropriations Committee. “We have the revenues and we need to use those revenues to elevate our people in our state and cities and communities now.”

Appropriations Committee co-chair Sen. Cathy Osten, D-Sprague, said that Connecticut is “meeting our obligations” and paying down some of the state’s massive pension debt through the volatility cap.

Democratic leaders will move forward negotiating with Gov. Lamont on reaching a budget deal. 

Although Lamont has maintained opposition to raising taxes when the state is enjoying budget surpluses, a maxed-out reserve fund and federal COVID-relief money, Looney said the basis for negotiation is their budget, not the governor’s.

“The basis for negotiation is this budget, not the one he put out in February,” Looney said.

The leaders said that they are not concerned with a Lamont veto, as they intend to negotiate with the administration. “Everybody has to have some give and take,” Ritter said.

The Appropriations Committee biennial spending budget aligned with the $45.9 billion proposed by Gov. Ned Lamont earlier in the year but the question of what to spend it on and the possibility of tax increases to fund the spending remain on the table.

Republicans have remained steadfastly opposed to any tax increases and earlier in the year moderate Democrats issued a press release stating their opposition to raising taxes.

With only three weeks left in the legislative session in which to work out a budget with the governor, Democratic leaders were optimistic on reaching a budget deal before June 9.

Marc E. Fitch

Marc E. Fitch is the author of several books and novels including Shmexperts: How Power Politics and Ideology are Disguised as Science and Paranormal Nation: Why America Needs Ghosts, UFOs and Bigfoot. Marc was a 2014 Robert Novak Journalism Fellow and his work has appeared in The Federalist, American Thinker, The Skeptical Inquirer, World Net Daily and Real Clear Policy. Marc has a Master of Fine Arts degree from Western Connecticut State University. Marc can be reached at [email protected]

5 Comments

  1. nICK099
    May 20, 2021 @ 10:32 am

    Where do I begin???

    lET’S START WITH THE SWAMP CREATURE OF THE SENATE…THE APPROPRIATELY NAMED mARTIN lOONEY.

    –“We’re interested in pushing the principle of progressive taxation and progressive revenue structure to whatever extent we possibly can,” said Senate President Pro-Tem Martin Looney, D-New Haven. “—

    eXAMINE THAT SENTENCE CAREFULLY. “PRINCIPLE PROGRESSIVE TAXATION.” hMMM. WHAT DOES THAT MEAN? “pROGRESSIVE” OF TODAY MEANS WHAT USED TO BE CALLED SOCIALIST. MARTIN LOONEY HAS LONG BEEN A MARXIST TOTALITARIAN EITHER THROUGH HIS IDIOTIC GUN-GRABBING SCHEMES OR THROUGH MASSIVE TAXATION. HE HAS BEEN THERE SO LONG, CURRYING FAVOR THROUGH PATRONAGE THAT THE CANCEROUS LECH GETS AWAY WITH HIS HARMFUL IDIOCY.

    “PROGRESSIVE TAXATION” IS NOTHING MORE THAN A SCHEME TO TAX THE MANY AND ALLOW THE FEW A LOOPHOLE TO ESCAPE THEM. THE “WEALTHY” THAT lOONEY CROWS AGAINST ARE IN CONGRESS AND IN THE DONORS. LOONEY IS THE “WEALTHY.” THEY ARE NOT ABOUT TO WRITE LEGISLATION THAT ATTACKS EITHER. REMEMBER LIZZIE WARREN TAKING MONEY FROM CORPORATIONS TO SHOW THEM HOW TO ESCAPE THE CLAUSE SHE WROTE IN THE CUNSUMER PROTECTION FINANCE LAW??? WOMEN OF THE PEOPLE EH??? (SARC)

    TERM LIMITS, ELIMINATION OF MONEY IN POLITICS AND AND HONEST PRESS CORP IS THE ONLY SALVATION TO THE INEVITABLE SINKING OF THE USS CONNECTICUT. DANGEROUS, UNHINGED MARXISTS LIKE LOONEY MUST BE EXPOSED AND VOTED FROM OFFICE.

    Reply

  2. Desmond McGlynn
    May 20, 2021 @ 4:10 pm

    These grifters would not be in power if morally led citIzenS, soon to be subjectS, voted what was in their best interest, not a “Party.” The Grifters in both “Parties” do not care about you, only to control you as they pile on more taxes, subjecting the citizens to slavery. It seems that when the cost of living is too high, people flee the state,Not everyone can escape to Florida. Just remember, the grifters lost nothing in the Scamdemic while the subjects of Connecticut lost so much.

    Reply

  3. Thad M Stewart
    May 20, 2021 @ 4:27 pm

    The crooks in Hartford can not manage the money they already have. Third largest tax increase in state history withe sales tax expansion. Why do we need to give more? These con men and women need to be held accountable. Ask one middle class taxpayer in this state if they can afford more useless and frivoulous tax increases.

    Reply

  4. Donna
    May 21, 2021 @ 8:02 am

    We need a forensic audit. we flipped at least one decades old spot from blue to red. We KNOW there were shenanigans in at least 1 race similar to Antrim, where GOP almost lost his seat here in CT too.

    Demand accountability

    Reply

  5. Cliff FAVA
    May 24, 2021 @ 7:35 pm

    And his laSt name is looney!
    How Appropriate

    Reply

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