Democrats: no hike in sales tax. Republicans fume.
Published 5:47 pm, Monday, September 11, 2017
The budget that majority Democrats plan to debate and vote this week in the General Assembly will not raise the current sales tax, leaders announced on Monday after a weekend of negotiations with Gov. Dannel P. Malloy.
But the package that leaders plan to introduce on Thursday is not yet complete, they admitted. Minority Republicans complained that they are being shut out of the process and that Democrats have rejected their call for certain major long-term changes to budgeting.
Speaker of the House Joe Aresimowicz, D-Berlin, and Senate President Pro Tempore Martin M. Looney, D-New Haven, indicated that the current 6.35-percent sales tax would remain, but they were vague about a possible local option for an additional 1-percent restaurant tax for certain cities that could see losses to education funding, including Stamford, Waterbury, Hartford and West Hartford.
In previous weeks, Democratic leaders had discussed hiking the sales tax to nearly 7 percent. Last week, in a compromise, Malloy offered an alternative budget that would pump up the sales tax to 6.5 percent. Looney, speaking to reporters in the Capitol, hinted Monday that taxes on high-end homes would see an increase.
But Republicans said that they are still not on-board as the Legislature continues its high-wire attempt to cobble together a two-year, $39-billion budget before October 1. “The question is, are they broadening the sales tax?” said Senate Republican Leader Len Fasano, R-North Haven. “What are they doing?”
email@example.com Twitter: @KenDixonCT