State of Connecticut Democratic nominee for governor Ned Lamont plans to reinstate the property tax credit that was eliminated under the Malloy administration, as well as reintroduce tolls to Connecticut roadways, according to the Lamont campaign website (reducing-property-taxes-for-middle-class).
The property tax credit was eliminated in early 2017 by Gov. Daniel Malloy and took away on average $200 in tax relief from middle-class families across Connecticut according to the Hartford Courant.
“In my first biennial budget as governor, I will restore and expand the property tax credit for working families,” Lamont’s website said.
UConn College Republicans said that this will just cause higher mill rates for local towns and cities.
“First of all it’s a tax credit,” UConn College Republicans Director of Political Engagement Jacob Marie, a third-semester political science and economics double major, said. “Property tax is usually a municipal thing, it’s not something the state drives a lot of revenue from directly. If you give them a tax rate, you’re just incentivizing municipalities to raise their mill rate.”
UConn College Democrats President and seventh-semester political science major, Steph Goebel, disagrees.
“It ensures that people who pay property taxes who choose to buy homes here in Connecticut, and not just rent homes, are being rewarded for that effort,” Goebel said. “We’re constantly complaining how people are leaving the state. It’s expensive to stay in Connecticut. If they had something like a property tax credit they might’ve stayed here.”
UConn professor of finance and economics and Connecticut Center for Economic Analysis Director Fred Carstensen says his one criticism of Lamont’s plan is how this lost revenue for the state will be made up.
“The one criticism that is fair is how he will be able to pay for the things that he wants to do,” Carstensen said.
Lamont has addressed this concern by planning to bring back tolling to the state, but only on heavy trucks.
“I will establish a state infrastructure bank and fully fund the Special Transportation Fund by introducing electronic tolling on heavy trucks,” Lamont’s website said.
Marie said tolling is just “another tax” on Connecticut taxpayers, despite Lamont’s statements on tolling only larger trucks.
Connecticut is one of nine states and the District of Columbia that currently has no toll facilities, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures.
Carstensen said he thinks tolls will help bring back more revenue to the state.
“Yes it would help to pay for the tax cuts. It would help to improve our transportation infrastructure,” Carstensen said. “What’s critical is this should be principally a tax on out of state drivers who are travelling through Connecticut and on big rigs.”
Luke Hajdasz is a campus correspondent for The Daily Campus. He can be reached via email at firstname.lastname@example.org.