Liberal Dems flex political muscle at Capitol

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Liberal Democrats, also known as ‘progressives‘ in the General Assembly are flexing their political muscle.  They’re doing it by getting a special tax on the state’s wealthiest residents included in the Demcrats’ tax plan.  A tax the Democratic Governor opposes.

The tax code writing Finance, Revenue and Bonding Committee is rejecting much of the Sales Tax expansion that Governor Lamont proposed in his budget. 

They’re moving on a limited Sales Tax expansion that includes placing the tax on ride sharing services like Uber, digital downloads of movies and music, laundry and dry cleaning as well as interior design services. And new taxes that would include a 50 cent per package delivery tax, a 10 cent tax on plastic and paper bags, and that 1.5 cent per ounce tax on sugary drinks.

The liberal/progressive caucus of Democrats in the Assembly successfully got the proposal for a 2 percent tax surcharge on Capital Gains for high income earners. A proposal the Governor strongly opposes.

“It’s all about framing it as a ‘fair share,’ like everybody’s got to pay their fair share to get us out of the hole and I think the public is with us on this,” said Rep. Anne Hughes (Easton-D).

Rep. Josh Elliott (Hamden-D) adding, “A large part of the reason that we’re really focusing on the Capital Gains Tax is that for income earners of $2 million or more, 80 percent of their income comes from Capital Gains.”

Related: State finds new way to collect Sales Tax for online sales

And so far, the liberal/progressive wing of legislative Democrats appear to have the House Speaker, Rep. Joe Aresimowicz (Berlin-D) with them on this, “It’s very important to the majority of my caucus that there’s a progressivity aspect of the tax plan.”

Republicans, of course, are all opposed to this, as well as the rest of the tax plan. “They’re better off working with Republicans and leading with efficiencies and spending cuts rather than turning to the typical Democratic alternative of raising taxes on everybody,” said House Deputy Minority Leader Rep. Vin Candelora (North Haven-R).

This committee plan also includes a 10 percent excise tax increase on alcohol. Now, the real bargaining with the Governor should begin.

The tax plan can be viewed by clicking below:

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