HARTFORD — Rep. Rob Sampson today reaffirmed his stance against the governor’s controversial two-year budget plan that carries harsh taxes aimed directly at the middle class, casting his Appropriations Committee vote against the spending side of the proposal favored by House and Senate Democrats. By a 33-21 vote Thursday, the committee approved the plan agreed upon by Gov. Dannel Malloy and House and Senate Democrats late Wednesday afternoon—a day after Sampson and Republicans offered a “no tax increase” budget that would spend nearly $3 billion less than Malloy’s original two-year plan.
The majority party’s near blanket adoption of Malloy’s plan increases the state’s gas tax by three cents per gallon—cementing Connecticut’s status as the state with the highest gas tax in New England. Their agreement would increase the sales tax to 6.35 percent and reduce the $500 property tax exemption to $300. It would also double last year’s “temporary” 10 percent corporate surcharge tax to 20 percent.
Their two-year budget plan also imposes a bevy of other new taxes and tax increases, on everything from yoga classes and hotels to hospitals and non prescription drugs. And despite the state’s poor financial outlook, plan from majority legislators and Malloy actually increases spending by roughly $900 million.
“People in this state are tapped out,” said Sampson, who also serves on the legislature’s committees on Insurance and Judiciary. “Our state cannot increase spending yet again on the backs of our taxpayers—it’s simply unsustainable. Forcing the folks we work for to ‘sacrifice’ more, as the governor has asked, should be off the table. Our ‘no tax increase’ plan is in line with today’s stark reality.”
Majority legislators on the Finance Committee voted against amendments to blunt their tax hikes, also rejecting the Republican “no tax increase” budget as they did in the Appropriations Committee.
Democrat lawmakers gambled Thursday, passing their tax and spending plans out of committee without a guarantee they’ll have the $2 billion in union concessions they’re counting on to keep it balanced
Sampson also opposed a controversial proposal granting the governor’s budget director unprecedented authority to find $1 billion in savings—presumably a backup plan if Malloy is unable to secure the union concessions he has told residents he is actively pursuing.