Finance Committee Explores Abundance of Revenue Ideas As Deadline Nears

By Christine Stuart | April 20, 2017

HARTFORD, CT — The Finance, Revenue, and Bonding Committee is expected to wrap up its work next week, but until then it seems to be pursuing every revenue generating idea it can to close the two year $3.6 billion budget deficit.

A committee bill published Wednesday proposes increasing the income tax rate on Connecticut’s wealthiest residents from 6.7 percent to 7.49 percent. It maintains the personal income tax brackets at six.

The proposal is part of a larger one that creates a 10 percent occupancy tax rate on bed and breakfasts and dedicates a portion of the taxes on hotels and lodging to promote and develop culture and tourism. It would also give motorists the option of paying an additional $5 when they register their vehicle to help pay for state park maintenance. Those who paid the fee would not have to pay for parking at state parks.

There is no fiscal note attached yet to the bill so it’s still unclear how much revenue the various proposals would generate.

The goal, according to Rep. Jason Rojas, D-East Hartford, was to get all the legislation out Wednesday so they can hold a public hearing on the proposals next Tuesday, April 25. The committee had held six public hearings since January.

The committee’s deadline to forward legislation to either chamber is April 28.

For most of the legislative session, leadership on the committee has been discussing broadening the sales tax base and increasing the 6.35 percent rate.

Gian-Carl Casa, president and CEO of the CT Community Nonprofit Alliance, emailed a statement to the media Wednesday expressing his concern about rumors the committee is considering eliminating the sales tax exemption for nonprofits.

“Nonprofits have been exempted from sales tax here and across the country for good reason: they provide services in their communities so that government doesn’t have to,” Casa said Wednesday. “Eliminating that exemption would take funds from programs for individuals with developmental disabilities, people struggling with substance abuse, victims of domestic violence, and arts and cultural programs, to name just a few.”

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