HARTFORD -- Gov. Ned Lamont’s answered questions Thursday about his new budget proposal.
He says it goes a long way toward cutting the deficit, but accomplishing that, means more money out of your pocket. Gov. Lamont wasn’t handed a rosy financial situation.
But is it too much, too soon? The Governor said he’s open to suggestions and possibly even phasing the taxes in.
Lamont’s budget proposed nearly 40 new taxes. “I did the very best I could,” he said. But was it enough? The middle class is squeezed and if paid family medical leave gets passed, its likely another half a percent will be grabbed from your paycheck, plus tolls, plus all the new taxes."
“You keep adding more and more on people’s backs and it gets to about where it will be a breaking point.” Leonardo Gugliotti owns a salon and spa in Rocky Hill. One of the services the governor wants to tax. “I do understand that we have to do something to control the deficit. But I think that taxing is not the only option. I think we have to control how we spend,” said Gugliotti.
Lamont says he’s trying to do that with a debt diet. Meaning not borrowing as much, or putting it on the state’s credit card. He’s asking for everyone to help. “I asked businesses to do more as well as you may remember. They are not going to see the tax cut that they were anticipating,” said Lamont. He has proposed to eliminate a small business entity tax.
The Governor wants to tax newspapers, textbooks, non-prescription drugs, and even tax your taxes when you go to a CPA. “We did that without raising the income tax. We did that without raising the rate on the sales tax. You are right we tried to expand the base,” said Lamont. His proposed tax on digital downloads and streaming is an attempt to transition the tax structure from a retail based Sears & Roebuck economy to what he calls an Amazon economy. “I think it’s more fair. I think it keeps up with a modern economy. If the legislature says no way I said alright we’ll look at the rate then.”
“I’ve noticed from my own clientele that I see people who tell me they are moving out. The young people coming back from college who are staying in other cities and or retirees leaving the state,” said Gugliotti.
Connecticut’s sales tax rate of 6.35% is higher than Massachusetts but lower than Rhode Island and New York.