Category Archives: taxes

Malloy, Foley Square Off in First Debate

by Categorized: 2014 Election, Gov. Dannel Malloy, Gun control, New Haven, Republicans, taxes, Tom Foley Date:

Gov. Dannel P. Malloy and Republican business executive Tom Foley squared off Wednesday night in their first debate in 2014 with some lively exchanges.

The first question by moderator Ray Hackett involved whether the candidates believe the other was untruthful or unethical.

“The governor is the single most important person having an impact on people’s lives in Connecticut,” Foley responded. “I’ve talked about Malloy Math” on statistics offered by Malloy.

The numbers cited by Malloy on various occasions show “a lack of truthfulness that discredits a leader,” Foley said.

“I don’t recall the governor saying I didn’t tell the truth,” Foley said.

Malloy responded that there were only three people on the stage, and “only one of us has violated the law in Connecticut related to elections.”

“I don’t think you told the truth about Bibb,” Malloy said to Foley regarding the now well-known company that Foley operated and that has been the subject of numerous television commercials.

On the second question on crime, Malloy cited statewide statistics.

“Crime is down – 45-year low,” Malloy said. “I’m proud of that. I’m proud of making cities safer. … It’s not a matter of convenience or inconvenience. It’s a matter of public safety.”

But Foley countered, “In fact, I don’t think we are safer based on the bill that he passed.” He was referring to Malloy’s signature on a gun-control bill that was passed in 2013.

After Foley said that they had talked about guns, Malloy responded, “Tom and I haven’t had a conversation about this issue, ever” on guns.

“To say I’m not telling the truth is ridiculous,” Foley responded, saying that he essentially talks to Malloy through the press and does not have to speak face to face to get his points across on specific issues.

“If a repeal comes to me, I will never sign a repeal,” Malloy said of the gun-control law, adding that it has “led to lower crime.”

“First of all, governor, this is where you’re twisting the truth again,” Foley said, referring to what Foley had said about a potential repeal of the gun-control bill. “You’re twisting the truth again.”

“You should tell us about all of the litmus tests that you would have,” Malloy said. “That answer that you just gave? That was a career politician answer you gave.”

Concerning crime, Foley said, “Violent crime rates have gone down all over the country. … For the governor to go around saying that crime is low insults those communities” in the state’s largest cities.

“The governor says everything is fine with crime. I don’t agree,” Foley said, adding that three Connecticut cities rank in the top six nationally for the most crime.

“I don’t say everything is fine with crime,” Malloy responded. “It’s never dropping fast enough.” Continue reading

Boughton Releases 2013 Tax Returns

by Categorized: taxes Date:

Republican gubernatorial candidate and Danbury Mayor Mark Boughton on Monday released his 2013 tax returns and called on others running for governor to do the same.

The returns show that Boughton and his wife, Phyllis Boughton, paid $25,950 in taxes on a combined income of $179,533 for an effective tax rate of 14.5 percent. Their income was divided between the salary Boughton earns from the city of Danbury and his wife’s earnings as owner and manager of Connecticut Kitchen & Bath in Danbury.

“In the interest of personal financial disclosure and giving the public as much information as possible, I call on every candidate for Governor to join me in releasing their tax returns,” Boughton said in a statement.

“Being Connecticut’s Governor is a privilege, not an entitlement, and people expect everyone to play by the same rules,” said Boughton. “I encourage every candidate, including Governor Malloy and Ambassador Foley, to release their tax returns as I have done.”

Last fall, former U.S. Ambassador Tom Foley, the 2010 Republican nominee who is seeking a rematch against Malloy, called on the governor to release his tax returns to prove that he did not receive any money from entities associated with environmental consultant Dan Esty, former Connecticut DEEP Commissioner.

 

Q Poll Gives Malloy Top Marks for Storm Management, Weaker Ratings on Economy, Jobs

by Categorized: Economy, Education, Gambling, Gov. Dannel Malloy, State budget, taxes, Uncategorized Date:

Good on snowstorms, not so good on budgets, the economy and jobs.

That\’s one finding of a new Quinnipiac University poll released Tuesday on Gov. Dannel P. Malloy\’s handling of various issues facing the state.

First, the good news for the Democratic governor: 86 percent of voters, including 84 percent of Republicans, approve of the way Malloy is handling this winter\’s snowstorms.

But, according to the poll, Malloy gets weaker grades on economic and budgetary matters. Fifty three percent said they disapprove of the way Malloy is handling the budget, and 63 percent disapprove of the way he is handling taxes.

Almost two-thirds of voters — roughly 60 percent — disapprove of the way Malloy is handling jobs and the economy; 33 percent approve.

Malloy\’s plan to use a portion f the state\’s budget surplus to give state taxpayers a $55 tax refund was branded as a \”political gimmick\” by 63 percent of respondents. Twenty three percent called it \”good public policy.\”

About a third of voters said Malloy\’s economic policies have hurt their personal financial situation while just 6 percent said they have helped — and 57 percent said they have made no difference.

On Malloy\’s education policy, respondents were split: 41 percent approve of his handling of education and 43 percent disapprove, according to the poll.

In an open-ended question, allowing for any answer, 36 percent of voters say the economy and jobs should be the priority for Malloy and the legislature while 14 percent said it should be taxes and 11 percent, education.

Asked to assess the state of Connecticut\’s economy, nearly 75 percent rated it as \”not so good\” or \”poor.\” Just 24 percent rated it \”good.\”

The poll also asked about keno, a bingo-like gambling product for bars and restaurants that state lawmakers approved last year and are poised to repeal this year. Sixty-five percent of respondents said they do not think the game should be permitted while 29 percent support it.

 

 

 

Tax Burden In Bridgeport Is Highest In Nation

by Categorized: taxes Date:

Tax rates in Bridgeport are the highest in the nation, according to a study that compared the combined property, sales, automobile, and income tax rates in the largest cities of each state.

The report, from the Office of Revenue Analysis, compared tax burdens at several different income levels for a hypothetical family of three in 2012. For example, a family of three making $150,000 in Bridgeport paid over 22 percent of their income in state and local taxes – compared to residents of Cheyenne, Wyoming, who paid 4.2 percent in the lowest tax burden city. The report also compared combined totals for all income levels, and found that Bridgeport had the highest combined overall tax burden. Philadelphia, Milwaukee, Baltimore, Columbus, and Providence rounded out the top five for greatest tax burden across income levels. Property and car tax burdens that are the highest in the country, combined with higher-than-average income and sales tax rates put Bridgeport at the top of the list.

Soda Tax Bill Introduced In General Assembly

by Categorized: taxes, Uncategorized Date:

\"bigA bill introduced in the General Assembly this week would implement a 2 percent tax on sodas, a measure that New Haven Mayor and former state senator Toni Harp recently called for as part of her campaign to combat obesity.

Harp said the tax would discourage consumption of the sugary beverages and bring in an estimated $144 million in revenue each year. The bill, introduced by Sen. Martin Looney, would tax all beverages \”high in calories or sugar\” by two percent, but does not specify how many calories or grams of sugar would result in a tax.

State legislatures across the country have considered soda taxes, but none has enacted the tariff.

 

Report: Connecticut Lost $465 Million To Offshore Tax Havens

by Categorized: taxes Date:

\"taxtable\"A new report found offshore tax havens prevented Connecticut from collecting $465 million in revenue in 2011, the 12th highest lost by any state.

The report, from the United States Public Interest Research Group (USPIRG), said corporations\’ ability to ship profits to low-tax nations overseas results in unreported earnings and strained state and federal budgets. If Connecticut treated profits booked to offshore havens – like the Cayman Islands, Seychelles, or Bermuda – as domestic taxable income, the state would have raked in an additional $19.4 million in 2012, the report said.

According to the USPIRG, states collectively lost over $20 billion in corporate tax revenue. Twenty-three states and the District of Colombia – but not Connecticut -  have enacted \”combined reporting\” requirements mandating companies that do business in multiple jurisdictions to combine all their profits into one single report, which proponents say prevents corporations from moving profits to low-tax states, like Delaware.  Those who favor separate accounting say combined reporting requirements create an unfair tax burden by distorting the amount earned or lost in a given state.

Saving the State–One License Plate at a Time

by Categorized: Gov. Dannel Malloy, Republicans, taxes Date:

We\’ve all seen those Preserve the Sound Connecticut license plates: a portion of the fee for the plate goes to the Long Island Sound Fund to pay for projects that help the Sound.

Now some Republican lawmakers have a new idea: Save the State plates. The idea is similar–except instead of benefitting Long Island Sound, the money raised through the sale of the plates would be used to pay down long-term state debt.

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\”This is by far one of my favorite bills so far this session,\’\’ Rep. Melissa Hoy Ziobron, R-East Haddam, tweeted Thursday morning. \”I cannot wait to fill out my co-sponsor form.\”

The measure, proposed by Sen. Craig Miner of Litchfield and Rep. Vincent Candelora of North Branford, would assess a fee of $55, which is, conveniently enough, the exact amount of the  rebate that Gov. Dannel P. Malloy proposes for taxpayers.

Even more convenient, the bill would allow state residents to pay the license plate fee \”by directing a portion of any tax rebate offered by the state in an amount of fifty-five dollars or greater for single filers into such account.\”

Republicans have been highly critical of Malloy\’s rebate plan, which proposes using a portion of the state\’s projected budget surplus to provide $55 tax rebate checks to residents and putting the rest toward emergency reserves and pension obligations.

 

Good News From Kevin Lembo: Connecticut\’s Surplus Projected to Top $245 Million

by Categorized: taxes Date:

Citing a tax amnesty program that pumped more than $175 million into the state\’s coffers, Comptroller Kevin Lembo is projecting that Connecticut will end fiscal year 2014 with a $245.9 million surplus.

That\’s about $110 million more than what the state Office of Policy and Management projected it would be.

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In addition to the tax amnesty, Lembo credited the growing surplus on increases in state revenue: sales and corporation taxes are each up by $30 million from budget targets. The real estate conveyance tax is $15.6 million over initial estimates, he said.

\”Month after month the state’s financial outlook for the current fiscal year is improving,” Lembo said.

While Lembo said the revenue boost is \”a great sign for Connecticut\’s economic recovery,\” he also sounded a cautionary note to politicians who may be tempted to spend the extra cash.

\”[T]here are…uncertainties and future liabilities that we need to brace for,\’\’ he said in a press release. \”I strongly recommend that any General Fund surplus amount should be transferred to the state’s budget reserve fund at the close of the current fiscal year.”

The budget reserve fund, aka the rainy day fund, contained about $270.7 million, or 1.6 percent of planned spending, at the end of fiscal 2013.

“I have called for a reserve level of 15 percent of spending – beyond the 10 percent statutory requirement,” Lembo said. “It is essential to the state’s long-term fiscal stability that sufficient reserves be established as soon as possible. Too often in the past, opportunities to build reserves have been missed as other perceived budget priorities were pursued.”

DRS Commissioner Sullivan to Tax Scofflaws: Pay Up or We Will Find You

by Categorized: State budget, taxes Date:
The state Department of Revenue Services is launching a sweeping amnesty program that aims to recoup at least $35 million in unpaid taxes.
 
Individual and business tax delinquents as well as dodgers who have never paid state taxes now have a 60-day window to come clean and pay up.
 
This is the fifth time since 1990 that the state has offered a break to tax scofflaws. But unlike past amnesty programs, the current effort covers just about every state tax.
 
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\”The reality in Connecticut, like most states, is that while voluntary compliance is high, very high, too many still do not pay what\’s due when its due,\’\’ Kevin Sullivan, the state\’s commissioner of revenue services, said during a morning news conference kicking off the amnesty program. \”And when that happens…all the rest of of us end up paying for those taxpayers who haven\’t done their [duty].\”
 
About 80,000 taxpayers are currently delinquent on their taxes; the combined total of their liability is $400 million. Another 80,000 have either never filed a return or have under-reported their income, officials said.