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Gov. Lamont proposes 'meaningful' tax cut in State of the State address

Just one day after his 69th birthday, Gov. Ned Lamont offered Connecticut taxpayers a gift during his State of the State address on Wednesday – the first income tax cut in almost 30 years.

John Craven

Jan 4, 2023, 12:28 PM

Updated 534 days ago

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Just one day after his 69th birthday, Gov. Ned Lamont offered Connecticut taxpayers a gift during his State of the State address on Wednesday – the first income tax cut in almost 30 years.
"After many years of unfilled promises, now is the time to enact a meaningful middle-class tax cut,” Lamont told state lawmakers.
The governor didn’t offer specifics yet; that will come in his budget proposal in February. But last month, Lamont said the tax cut would likely to apply to those making less than $150,000 a year.
Last year, Republicans proposed a 1% income tax cut for married couples making less than $175,000. It’s unclear if the governor’s plan will go that far.
"I think it's great,” said state Rep. Vin Candelora (R-North Branford), the top Republican in the Connecticut House. “I wish we had the conversation last year, but I'm grateful that he's now embracing that policy."
Click to play inauguration video
But a broad-based tax cut might be a tough sell with Democrats. Many are pushing for more targeted relief, like an expanded Earned Income Tax Credit and a permanent child tax rebate.
Click to play the State of the State address
"I think our members are on board for tax cuts, with the governor,” said House Speaker Matt Ritter (D-Hartford). “We'll have to figure out what they are."
Right now, Connecticut has a record-setting Rainy Day Fund and a nearly billion-dollar surplus this fiscal year. Lawmakers from both parties are pushing to spend more of that money – on deeper tax cuts, education or social safety net programs.
But during his address, Lamont warned legislators not to overspend.
"The era of Connecticut's permanent fiscal crisis is over,” he said. "It's over as long as we maintain the same fiscal discipline that served us so well over the last four years."
In particular, the governor wants to keep the so-called "volatility cap,” which limits how much capital gains taxes lawmakers can spend. Those revenues can fluctuate wildly and have led to deep budget shortfalls in past years.
"I think that piece will certainly stay in place,” said Senate President Martin Looney (D-New Haven). “The others, I think, will be argued throughout the process of the session.”
Lamont’s State of the State speech came an hour after he was sworn-in for a second term at the State Armory, just one block from the State Capitol complex.
"It's pretty good the second time around too,” he said.
Wednesday night, Lamont’s Inaugural Ball will draw a “who’s-who” of lawmakers, lobbyists and even celebrities. Actor Kevin Bacon, a resident of Litchfield County, will perform with his band. Tickets to the ball start at $100 and run up to $25,000. Since tickets are considered a “gift to the state,” they do not fall under campaign contribution limits.


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