Democratic state lawmakers in Connecticut have dropped their plans for an across the board sales tax increase to help balance the state’s two-year budget. That budget is more than two months late and is projected to be $3.5 billion in deficit.
Connecticut Senate Democratic President Martin Looney of New Haven says opposition from some moderate Democrats prompted the move. Looney says Democratic leaders had a meeting with Democratic Governor Dannel Malloy on Sunday, and an alternative being considered is an increase to the real estate conveyance tax.
“That’s a somewhat more progressive approach because it generates more revenue from highly valuable homes that are sold. So to that extent its more progressive than a sales tax-based alternative.”
Republican leaders are against the move. Senate Republican President Len Fasano of North Haven criticized Democrats for not inviting Republicans, who have 50 percent control of the Senate, to Sunday’s budget meeting with Governor Malloy.
“What they decided is that they were better off hooking their wagon up to Governor Malloy and accepting most of Governor Malloy’s proposals and going that way. And that’s their option and they are entitled to do that. It’s not a surprise in this building.
Democrats have scheduled a vote on the state’s overdue two-year budget for Thursday. Republicans say it's unlikely they’ll vote for a Democratic budget. If a budget vote fails, Governor Malloy would continue to control state spending by his limited executive authority. He has said this would mean drastic cuts to state spending, including aid to cities and towns.