Governor Lamont is boasting that the budget plan that’s moving forward in the General Assembly on Monday gives business leaders the consistency of a state budget done on time and allows cities and towns to know what they’re getting so they can do their budgets on time.
“We’ve got a good, honest budget, that’s on time, lives within our means, doesn’t increase tax rates,” said the Governor.
The proposal, that was debated for hours Monday before passing the House 86-65, does impose new taxes and increases others. The new budget creates, for the first time, a 10-cent tax on single-use plastic bags, like the ones you get at the supermarket.
It also greatly expands the digital download tax on things like movies and music. Currently at just one percent, it will be hiked to 6.35 percent.
And there’s a one percent boost in the meals tax that you pay for a restaurant meal. The Speaker of the House said this was added so that towns would not have to pay a portion of teacher pension costs. Under this budget deal, the state will refinance the teacher pension future liability and continue to pay all the contributions beyond the seven percent paid by teachers themselves.
The plan also includes a 10 percent hike in the excise tax on alcoholic beverages. Plus, a so-called ‘Mansion Tax’ on sales of homes that sell for $2.5 million or more and a hefty tax on nicotine vaping cartridges.
The Republican leader in the Senate also said the plan does not reduce spending and tax changes and new regulations will absolutely hurt small businesses.
He added, “I’m very disappointed in the executive branch. This is about, supposed to be about business and growing business and families and I would argue this does the opposite.”
There’s a new sales tax on parking, which apparently will even apply at parking meters. It also includes a new sales tax on dry cleaning services and an increase on the tax on ridesharing services like Uber and Lyft. Currently, that’s 25 cents. This hikes it a nickel to 30 cents.
The state Senate is discussing the budget on Tuesday.
Web Extra: Democrats, Republicans react to proposed state budget
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