In Gov. Ned Lamont’s first budget biennial to be given later today, the newly-elected democrat is expected to propose numerous sin taxes to the state of Connecticut.
Instead of raising the income tax, Lamont is expected to place a 10-cent tax on plastic bags, a 75 percent tax on e-cigarettes, a 25-cent deposit on empty liquor bottles and a five-cent deposit on nip bottles, according to a recent report by the Connecticut Mirror.
University of Connecticut College Republicans Director of Political Engagement Jacob Marie was expecting taxes like these from the new administration.
“I’m not surprised at all by Lamont’s call for new taxes,” Marie said. “He might’ve campaigned as someone who’d cut the tax burden, but a quick look at the government programs he wants to implement and the unions that endorsed him and it’s clear that Lamont will always spend first and raise taxes second, regardless of how much residents are already paying.”
A tax on sugary drinks is also expected in the budget. Sin taxes like these are a good money maker for the state, UConn College Democrats Social Media Chairperson Charles Perosino said.
“He sees these taxes as ways to make our society better as well as raise revenue for the state,” Perosino said.
Lamont also recently changed his stance on tolls. As a candidate, Lamont proposed tolling only 18-wheelers. On Saturday, Lamont released an op-ed changing this claim.
“Assuming our attorneys are correct, the truck-only option provides too little revenue, too slowly and too piecemeal to make a meaningful difference,” the op-ed said.
Tolls are just one more unnecessary cost to the people of Connecticut, Marie said.
“We already have a high gas tax and our transportation costs per mile are the highest in the nation,” Marie said.
Conversely, Perosino said that Lamont is working off the example of other states.
“When you look at what the governor’s proposing, he’s looking at evidence-based solutions,” Perosino said.
Lamont’s op-ed emphasized the biggest burden of Connecticut tolls would be placed on out-of-state drivers.
“We have been subsidizing our neighboring states’ road repairs by paying their tolls, and it’s estimated that out-of-state drivers would provide nearly 50 percent of our tolling revenue, as well,” the op-ed said. “As needed, we could also consider an increase in the earned income tax credit or reduction in gas tax to mitigate the costs of tolling on the everyday user.”
Luke Hajdasz is a staff writer for The Daily Campus. He can be reached via email at firstname.lastname@example.org.