Christine Stuart
A tax panel charged with making recommendations to modernize the state tax system is again looking for feedback from the public as the Jan. 1 deadline for its final report approaches.

A public hearing will be held 4 to 8 p.m. Wednesday in room 2E of the Legislative Office Building in Hartford. Topics under consideration are the Sales and Use Tax, Estate and Gift Taxation, Personal Income Tax, Property Tax, Tax Exempt Properties, PILOT, Business Personal Property Taxation, Personal Tangible Property, Real Estate Conveyance and Controlling Interest Transfers and Local Option Taxes.

The tax panel, which was created by the legislature in 2014, has been meeting periodically since its first public hearing last September.

Executive Director Robert D. Ebel wrote in a May memo that the panel is responsible for taking a broad look at tax policies that have evolved over time. He said the legislature’s narrow focus on addressing immediate needs year after year has the potential to lead to an “ intricately-constructed patch-work of unwieldy and contradictory collection of rules and regulations that have unintended and harmful results.”

At its May meeting, the panel approved its philosophical framework and criteria for evaluating change in the system. Those criteria are certainty and reliability; economic efficiency; equity; competitiveness; and simplicity.

The last time the legislature took a comprehensive look at its tax code was back in 1989-90. The group’s findings led to the implementation of the state income tax under former Gov. Lowell P. Weicker.

Anyone wishing to speak at Wednesday’s hearing should be in line by the breakout space next to 2E prior to 2 p.m. to participate in the lottery drawing. Each individual will pull a number at that time, and that number will correspond to the individual’s place on the signup sheet. The lottery will conclude at 3:30 p.m. Those who miss their time frame will be added to the bottom of the list of speakers.

Speakers will be limited to roughly 3 minutes of testimony followed by questions from the panel. Each speaker is asked to provide 40 copies of testimony at the time of sign-up.

Anyone who cannot attend may submit testimony electronically (in PDF format) to . Electronic testimony will not be copied for distribution. All testimony submitted will be scanned and published on the tax panel website.

No lawmakers are voting members of the committee. The following is a list of all the committee members:
Anika Singh Lemar, clinical associate professor, Yale Law School
Lou Schatz, partner, Shipman & Goodwin
Tiana Gianopulos, senior counsel, Day Pitney
Don Marchand, partner, Ivy, Barnum & O’Mara
Alan Clavette, CPA, Clavette & Company, LLC
Robert Testo, principal, R.J. Testo & Associates
John Elsesser, town manager, Coventry
Bill Dyson, former O’Neill Endowed Chair, CCSU
Bill Nickerson, CEO, Hoffman Management
Howard K. Hill, founder, Howard K. Hill Funeral Services
Al Casella, partner, Murtha Cullina
Marian Galbraith, mayor, City of Groton
Bill Breetz, Connecticut Urban League Initiative, Inc.
Melinda Agsten, partner, Wiggin & Dana
David Nee, board member, CT Voices