LETTER: If You Voted For State Democrats, Do You Have Buyers Remorse Yet?

Submitted by Jon Redmond, Nicole Pate, Kevin O’Connor, Carol Zarilli and Bill Drake

This past November, we voted to elect our representatives and state senators in Hartford. Although the town of Greenwich voted Republican in three of its four races the rest of the state leaned heavily for Democrats. Judging from early indications of proposed legislation, we have to wonder if those voters are regretting their vote.

So far, we have seen state senator Martin Looney (D) advocate for a new annual property tax. This will apply to any home with either an assessed value of $300,000 or a market value of $430,000. This has also been called the “mansion” tax. A name Looney himself has approved. 

Our state senator, Alex Kasser (D) has rejuvenated her effort to bring back tolls to the legislative agenda. This, despite its failure to gain peer support in the last session and its overall unpopularity among voters. This is a tax.

State senator Will Haskell (D) has supported a $20 fine for any CT residents who exercise their right NOT to cast a vote in an election. This is also a tax.

A payroll tax which was voted in last year is just beginning to hit the paychecks of workers this month. If you notice your paycheck is a little less robust than you expected, you can thank state Democrats for that. A mileage tax has also been resurrected (by Rep Cristin Vahey (D) which will allow CT to study and participate in federal pilot programs regarding a mileage-based user fee on motor vehicles operated on state highways.

More alarming than those is the fact that just this week, progressive Democrats strongly urged Governor Lamont to raise taxes on CT residents by proposing $4Billion dollars worth of “revenue raising measures” (aka taxes) on the state’s corporations and highest earners. These proposals, if passed would leave CT with the second highest state income tax rate in the nation, trailing only California. Tax rates for individuals making more than $500k and couples earning more than $800k would increase dramatically. 

Additional proposals by progressive Democrats included; increasing the corporate tax rate from 9% to 11.5%; reducing the state estate tax exemption level from $5million to $2million; imposing a 2% property tax on homes valued at more than $1.5million. All of these proposals will have the effect of driving successful residents away and leading corporations to reconsider operations in CT.

All of these ideas come from Progressive Democrats in Hartford. They are putting fierce pressure on the Governor to pass these proposals. Each time taxes are raised in our state, more people move away. The residents who are leaving are the residents we need most. These are wealthier individuals, successful corporations, taxpayers and job creators who contribute so much to our state’s economy. Their departure is our collective loss.

We encourage voters to consider supporting their Republican legislators in CT. They are advocating for more pro-growth, pro-business policies that will bring desperately needed jobs to our state and provide more opportunities for those in lower to middle income financial situations. CT has seen a continual exodus of residents for over a decade due to the types of anti-growth, progressive tax policies discussed above. Our state is in a crisis of confidence. Increasing taxes on middle class voters, and the wealthy is not a solution. These policies will not attract businesses or individuals to make CT their home. We need bold growth initiatives that incentivize and reward, not ones that discourage and punish.

Jon Redmond, Nicole Pate, Kevin O’Connor, Carol Zarilli and Bill Drake