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Thursday, March 20, 2014

Is it Time to Overhaul Connecticut’s Tax System?

By Keith M. Phaneuf

What’s the fairest way for Connecticut to raise $15 billion in taxes each year? Who should pay more? Is $15 billion too much? Too little? And how does the tax system affect the state’s economic competitiveness?

These are just a few of the questions that might be tackled over the next two years in what some predict could be the most dramatic overhaul of the state’s tax system since the income tax was enacted in 1991.

The legislature’s Finance, Revenue and Bonding Committee is expected to endorse a measure in the next few weeks that could launch a top-to-bottom analysis of how Connecticut taps taxpayers’ wallets. And there’s as much debate on what questions need to be asked as there are ideas to change the system.

“Every session there are more and more proposals to adjust or repeal or add different taxes,” said Rep. Patricia Widlitz, D-Guilford. This trend has intensified since Connecticut emerged from the Great Recession almost four years ago, she said. “It doesn’t make any sense to address all of these individually without looking at how the entire tax package fits together.”

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