Lamont praises tax cuts; GOP calls for special session to further reduce


HARTFORD, Conn. (AP) — The same day Democratic Gov. Ned Lamont launched a campaign ad touting recent tax cuts, Connecticut Republicans on Tuesday demanded a special session to cut even more, calling the 25 cents per gallon “embarrassing” gas tax holiday now that prices are close to $5 a gallon in the state and inflation continues to affect the price of goods and services.

Considering the state is currently teeming with cash — Comptroller Natalie Braswell projected a $956.4 million surplus in the state’s Main Expenditure Account — GOP legislative leaders proposed using $746.2 million dollars of that money to cut income and sales taxes, suspend the 40.1 cent per gallon diesel tax, repeal an upcoming mileage tax on large trucks and increase energy assistance.

‘We have record money surpluses in the bank and these guys are not going to get the money back to the people,’ said House Minority Leader Vincent Candelora, R-North Branford, referring to the governor and the majority Democrats in the General Assembly. “To say that 25 cents a gallon was enough for our residents in tax relief when it’s now over $5 is embarrassing.

Legislative Republicans created a website with an online petition to generate support for their call for a special session. They also have plans in the works for a series of rallies across the state, making affordability a key issue in this year’s election. Lawmakers need a majority of the House of Representatives and the Senate to sign a petition, remembering for a special session. It’s unclear whether enough Democrats would support the GOP’s petition effort.

Senate Republican Leader Kevin Kelly, R-Stratford, said the Republican tax cut plan would not jeopardize a planned additional $2.85 billion payment for the state’s unfunded pension liability and would maintain the $3.3 billion in the state fiscal reserve fund, the maximum allowed. But Democratic legislative leaders say the GOP plan, which they called “irresponsible,” would “cut $750 million in debt payments” at the expense of taxpayers this year and over the next 25 years.

“Now is not the time for political games. Connecticut will not give you a dollar today to take $100 from your grandchild tomorrow,” said Senate Pro Tempore Chairman Martin Looney, D-New Haven , and Senate Majority Leader Bob Duff, D-Norwalk, in a joint written statement.

The new Lamont campaign ad acknowledges the rising costs of everyday items in Connecticut, saying “that’s why Governor Lamont is cutting taxes.” The TV spot focuses on an increase in the property tax credit against personal income tax, a cap on local motor vehicle taxes affecting 75 municipalities, and the exemption of the tax on gasoline until December 1. In total, Democrats say the revised $24.2 billion state budget, set to take effect July 1, includes nearly $500 million in tax cuts.


Comments are closed.