A coalition of unions, faith leaders, and lawmakers say Gov. Ned Lamont’s property tax cuts and the Republican proposal to cut the sales tax fall short of what is needed when the state has a more than billion dollar budget surplus.
“It’s like paying off your mortgage when your children have holes in their shoes,” Gemeem Davis, a social justice organizer with Bridgeport Generation Now, said during a virtual press conference Friday.
The group wants Lamont’s proposal to increase the earned income tax credit permanent. In December, Lamont announced they increased the earned income tax credit with $75 million in federal COVID funds, which will put more money in the pocket of nearly 200,000 Connecticut residents. The funding will help increase the credit working families making less than $56,000 a year will receive.
But it’s not permanent because it was done with federal COVID funds.
The group also wants greater investments in public services, like education, health care, mental health, housing, and social services.
“There are a lot of people in our state who are turning over the jar of pennies, nickels, dimes and quarters,” Sen. Gary Winfield, D-New Haven, said. “Who rely on that because they can’t rely on their state representatives to have a conversation about hundreds of millions of dollars that are available to deal with the issues that are in their lives.”
The Recovery for All Coalition also want what they call a more “fair” tax system, which taxes the wealthy more.
Rep. Robyn Porter, D-New Haven, said “we need equity. It’s time we stop talking about it and we be about it.”
She said tax reform is a policy choice “so what kind of policies are we talking about.”
She said a 5% surcharge on capital gains, dividends and interest in excess of $500,000 a year. She said it would generate $850 million annually.
She said they are also proposing a tax of 10% on any company with over $10 billion in the digital advertising business.
“An economy is not built from the top down, it’s built from the bottom up,” Porter said.
Porter said the $336 million in tax relief Lamont proposed is not enough. She also pointed out it wouldn’t help anyone without property or a motor vehicle.
“Relief should be sustainable, this is disposable and I don’t see it as a fix,” Porter said.
Lamont and legislative leaders will reconvene next week for the opening of the 2022 legislative session to adjust the two-year budget adopted last year.