Capitol Report: tolls hits dead end, town bonds delayed, ammo tax proposed

Capitol Report

(WTNH) — Now that it looks like tolls have hit a dead end, Governor Ned Lamont is trying to move forward with bonding: some for transportation projects, some for aid to cities and towns. The later has been waiting months for that promised money, hoping it comes before they have to raise taxes.

We’re seeing a light at the end of the tunnel now. I think the talk about raising taxes is that there are critical services that have to be paid for one way or another, so if the bonding money wasn’t going to come, those things have to be paid for showhow. And the only way to pay for them would have been to shift them into the property tax.

– Joe DeLong, CCM Executive Director

We’re pushing the legislature right now to get the bond bill done by March 6. If they can’t get the whole thing done by [then] we’ve got a special letter that went out. At least get the town and road and municipal aid road done by the 6th.

– Governor Ned Lamont

This whole delay is a classic case of cities and towns getting caught up in capitol politics.

Aid money to them was tied into the Governor’s push for tolls.

He was asked about that leaving a bad taste in people’s mouths:

There was a plan out there called Prioritize Progress. It would have put $700 million in transportation bonding into the bond bill prioritized over town aid, road, and other municipal needs.

They took that off the table. We’re going to put additional money in for transportation, but not nearly to the same degree as the previous plan.

That means we now know what the appetite is and what we can provide for our towns and cities.

– Governor Ned Lamont

Here’s something new: a controversial proposal for a new tax. A bill under consideration would slap a 35% tax on ammunition sales.

Supporters say it would fund gun violence prevention programs. Opponents say there are better ways to do so.

This is a reasonable and strategic way to fund those programs…Most gun owners are law-abiding citizens who also care for the people in the cities who are being plagued by the epidemic, and this is a way to do their part.

– Stacey Mayer, West Hartford

Everyone in Connecticut should put money into the pot, not just a certain group. That’s discrimination. We are not the problem, so it shouldn’t be us footing the full bill. We already pay an added tax.

– Michelle McBrien, Beacon Falls

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