Connecticut Governor Dannel P. Malloy revealed his fiscal plan for next year in a budget proposal recommending a slew of new tax hikes and tolls, according to a press release from the governor’s office. The University of Connecticut is not proposed to have any new major reductions in state funding, according to the Hartford Courant, besides those that have already been set.
Among the new taxes proposed include an increase of the cigarette tax to $4.60, a corporate tax surcharge of 8 percent, a 25-cents-per-gallon gas tax increase over the next four years and the addition of electronic tolls on state highways, according to a Courant breakdown of the budget.
“The budget we are proposing today is about the future—specifically Connecticut’s long-term fiscal stability,” Malloy said. “This plan continues to pay down the state’s long-term obligations, further reduces our reliance on one-time revenues, and identifies clearer and more achievable savings targets in the underlying budget.”
Seeking to close the $245 million budget gap, Malloy’s budget proposal raises revenues through tax increases and slims down spending through cuts to municipal aid and the Priority School District program, according to the Courant.
Malloy’s 2019 budget proposal also caps spending growth at 0.3 percent, leaving room for some discretionary spending such as a $100 million renovation of the XL Center, according to the governor’s press release.
Among other budget cuts in the proposal is the lingering $300 million funding reduction to the University of Connecticut and UConn Health, spread out between both fiscal years (FY) 2018 and 2019, according to UConn Student Body President Irma A. Valverde in an email sent to all students.
“Given last year’s cut of $143 million, as well as more than $164 million in cuts since 2010, the University’s budget must be protected so that UConn can continue to provide a quality education,” Valverde said in a call for students to protest outside of the budget hearings in Hartford, as the state legislature begins revising the 2019 proposal on Thursday, Feb. 15 at 5 p.m.
Fairfield Republican Sen. Tony Hwang said to the Hartford Courant that Malloy’s proposed tolls and taxes are going to be a hit for the people of Connecticut, citing the possibility of 78 tolling locations along Connecticut highways.
“It’s another tax burden on an already-taxed population that has struggled,’’ Hwang said. “Increasing tax burdens has shown itself to be regressive.’
Andrew Miano is a campus correspondent for The Daily Campus. He can be reached via email at firstname.lastname@example.org.