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These Democrats Want to Raise the Sales Tax to Pay for CT’s Budget Crisis

August 10, 2017 By Staff
These Democrats Want to Raise the Sales Tax to Pay for CT’s Budget Crisis

A proposal floated by Connecticut House Democrats would raise Connecticut's sales tax from 6.35 percent to 6.99 percent.

House Democrats, led by Speaker Joe Aresimowicz (D-Berlin) and Majority Leader Matt Ritter (D-Hartford), want to raise the sales tax from 6.35 percent to 6.99 percent to balance a two-year budget deficit expected to be around $3.5 billion.

The proposal, most recently floated in late June, would raise the sales tax more than half a percent, and allow cities and towns to “approve an additional 1 percent tax on the sale of food and drink at restaurants and bars,” according to the Hartford Courant.

BALANCING

It’s unclear how much a sales tax hike would contribute to closing the budget deficit, by Senate President Pro Tempore Martin Looney (D-New Haven) estimated it would raise $438 million over two years – enough to cover roughly 12 percent of the anticipated $3.5 billion deficit.

WHAT OF THE SENATE?

It’s unclear if Looney would support a sales tax hike, but he has pushed tax hikes throughout this budget process. “I think that we need actually a plan that incorporates, as we had in 2011, a substantial number of cuts, some state employee concessions, and some new revenues,” Looney said in January, according to NBC Connecticut.

Loone has also indicated support for the local sales tax option in the past.

WHAT OF MALLOY?

Malloy has been adamant about avoiding tax increases in his effort to balance the budget, but it’s unclear whether or not Malloy would sign a Democrat-passed budget that does raise taxes.

As Reclaim Connecticut readers know well, Malloy has signed major tax hikes into law before – in 2011 and in 2015.