HARTFORD, Conn. (AP) — Connecticut state lawmakers on Wednesday night advanced a Democratic proposal to reduce state income tax rates, but for some legislators the plan is not nearly enough.
Republican legislators, the minority party in the General Assembly, and some Democrats voiced disappointment in the tax-cutting plan presented by leaders of the Finance Revenue and Bonding Committee, saying it falls too short. It also offers a smaller tax break compared to what Democratic Gov. Ned Lamont has proposed.
“This does not even match what the governor was doing in terms of income tax relief for our residents. And I thought that was pretty stingy,” said Rep. Holly Cheeseman, of East Lyme, the panel’s top House Republican. She estimated the average married couple would save about $300 a year.
Lamont had estimated married couples could save about $600 a year under his plan.
Rep. Maria Horn, D-Salisbury, the committee’s co-chair, defended the package, which was debated behind closed doors for about eight hours in the lead-up to Wednesday night’s vote. She noted that a range of other tax cuts are also included in the bill.
“So the taxes that we pay in the state of Connecticut are not just the personal income tax,” she said, noting there were efforts to “strike a balance” and help businesses, consumers, retirees and others with tax reductions.
On Tuesday, the Democratic-controlled Appropriations Committee advanced a two-year $50.9-billion spending package that has drawn criticism for not providing more money to human service programs, ranging from homeless shelters to addiction treatment. Democratic leaders of the committee acknowledged they were limited by the state’s cap on spending, an issue likely to be debated in budget talks with Lamont.