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Last Weekend Before CT-Gov. Primary Kicks Off With Row Over Income Tax

August 10, 2018 By Staff
Last Weekend Before CT-Gov. Primary Kicks Off With Row Over Income Tax

Columnist Kevin Rennie accused Mark Boughton of reneging on his pledge to eliminate the income tax. Boughton's campaign said it isn't true, but Boughton's opponents pounced anyway.

The final days of the Connecticut Republican gubernatorial primary campaign are ending much the way they began: with a debate over the state income tax.

On Friday morning, columnist and former Republican state legislator Kevin Rennie accused Boughton of reneging on his pledge to eliminate the income tax.

The centerpiece of Republican Mark Boughton’s third campaign for governor has been his pledge to eliminate the state’s income tax over 10 years.

…Boughton now says he will reduce the income tax, which opened the spigot of unsustainable spending when it was enacted in 1991. The former state representative has nixed “repeal” and replaced it with the more manageable, fungible “reduce.”

Rennie is supporting businessman David Stemerman in the primary.

Boughton’s campaign manager responded by asserting that Boughton continues to stand by his pledge to eliminate the state income tax over time.

“Mark Boughton is the only candidate with a plan to phase out the income tax over 10 years,” campaign manager Marc Dillon said. “As proven leaders often do, he has already fundamentally changed the discussion in Connecticut from what taxes the Democrats want to raise to which taxes we must eliminate to get our state back on track.”

Nevertheless, Boughton’s opponents pounced.

Albert Eisenberg, a spokesman for Stemerman, said “[m]ost career politicians abandon their campaign promises after they’re elected. We applaud Mayor Boughton for his honesty, abandoning the central promise of his campaign right before the election instead.”

Businessman Bob Stefanowski said “[i]t’s clear that this race is about taxes, and as we head into Tuesday, I am the only candidate that Republicans can trust to eliminate the state income tax.”

Businessman Steve Obsitnik suggested Boughton is making “empty political promises”:

Boughton appears to be standing by his pledge, but look for the income tax to be one of the top-discussed issues on the campaign trail in the last four days of the primary.