The richest 1 percent of our state taxpayers pays less than 1 percent of their income in property tax and less than 1 percent in sales and excise taxes. The only progressive tax, where the rich pay a higher percentage of their income than the rest of the population, is the state income tax. The bottom 20 percent of taxpayers in this state pay no income tax. Yet, when the sales and excise taxes (over 6 percent of their income) and property taxes (almost 6 percent) are factored in, they pay a higher percentage of their income in state and local taxes than any other group. In fact, every income group pays a higher percentage of state and local taxes than the top 1 percent.
Bob Stefanowski’s plan to eliminate the income tax, and the estate tax, will eliminate most of the tax burden on the very rich. Not that I think it can happen. Over half of the state revenue is obtained from the income tax with the richest 1 percent paying over 30 percent. Several members of the Republican Party including Themis Klarides, the current Republican minority leader in CT’s House of Representatives, stated that having worked on the budget there just isn’t enough money to eliminate the tax.
Stefanowski’s plans to eliminate taxes on the rich will probably increase other taxes and eliminate important services.
I don’t want to malign the super rich in this state. It’s a great state with the rich playing a very important role. Many in the top 5 percent have even expressed a desire to increase their income tax rate if it is part of an overall solution.
I’m putting my trust in Ned Lamont to come up with a fair and honest budget that keeps expenses down while looking into the eyes and hearts of all our citizens.
John Scarmana, Meriden
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