When the new Governor speaks to the General Assembly, he will outline his plan to address a projected $1.7 billion dollars in red ink. But everything he proposes is subject to negotiation with the 187 member legislature. In other words, this is just a starting point.
“I’m going to be talking about, you know, the Sales Tax. I’m going to be talking abut the bond diet. I’m going to be talking about how we use technology to drive down the cost of government over a period of time,” says the Governor.
Just one week ago, when he addressed the Greater Waterbury Chamber of Commerce, he revealed the one real ‘ace’ he holds in the negotiations; his ‘bond diet.’ Curtailing the amount of money the state borrows to pay for pet projects, including some schools. How much? The Governor responding, “$500 mlllion. I’d like to see us cut our bond appetite by $500 million a year.”
That would mean that a lot of local legislators would not get the local projects paid for that they may have promised local leaders back home. And so far, Lamont has backed up his ‘bond diet.’ He has cancelled the first two Bonding Commission meetings of the year.
He has also already rolled out several proposed tax hikes and expansions. Like extending the state Sales Tax to all things digital. Unlike stuff you buy at the store, downloads are tax free. His proposed 10 cent tax on plastic bags is projected to raise $30 million a year.
The trucking industry is moving full throttle in opposition to Lamont‘s proposal to toll all vehicles. The more than 8,000 trucking companies say the tolls will double their annual tax bills and they’ll have no
choice but to pass it on to consumers.
The Governor says this about his budget proposals; “It’s going to be real. We’re not going to solve it all
in one year but you’re going to have a sense of where we’re going.”