Business leaders urging lawmakers to reject HIT tax on health insurance in state budget negotiations

Politics

HARTFORD, Conn. (WTNH) — We’re now entering the final weeks of the legislative session at the state capitol. Budget negotiations are ongoing – and all industries are watching to see what gets passed.

There is one tax that businesses want lawmakers to reject: the HIT tax, as it’s being called, is in both the governor’s budget bill and in a finance public option bill.

Marc Nemeth, second-generation President of the Jonal Laboratories in Meriden, says his shop is like a bakery, but with engineering and design makers.

“If you notice over there that second press we’re making the bladder for the spacesuit,” added Nemeth. Yes, an astronaut’s spacesuit.

Jonal Laboratories has made specialty items like heat seals for Boeing jets for 55-years. But it hasn’t been easy employing 100-workers in a high-cost state.

Marc Nemeth, “We’ve had big customers come to us and say we will not call you here in a high-cost area.”

He’s looking at skyrocketing health care costs for workers if state lawmakers pass a health insurance tax.

“I look at all the costs and this is not a good thing, ” explained Nemeth.

Congress rolled back the HIT tax at the federal level. Governor Ned Lamont wants to collect it. During a recent interview at an event in Hartford, the governor told News 8, “They are getting less of a tax cut than they had hoped for.”

The state is using roughly $90 million in federal stimulus money to subsidize families on the health insurance exchange. Many business owners say then why are they being taxed too?

We have other states other countries we are competing against that are doing the right things and I don’t think this is the right thing to do at this time,” added Nemeth.

Meantime, of the more than 12,000 jobs lost in manufacturing last year, only a third have returned. Nemeth says it’s where they are in the supply chain.

“We’re trailing indicator – our parts of the last things to typically go on the product whether it’s the engine or the airframe. So we’re approximately 40 percent below what we were before.”

The public isn’t flying as much as they did pre-pandemic. Right now he says the federal dollars that will help subsidize the healthcare exchange are enough and small businesses like his do not need to be taxed.

The legislative session ends June 9th. Budget negotiations at the capitol continue.

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