Senator Ryan Fazio (R-Greenwich) and his Senate Republican colleagues have unveiled a landmark proposal, setting out a two-year, $50.4 billion balanced budget, with the ambition to deliver the largest income and property tax cut in Connecticut’s history. The proposed budget also adheres to the state’s bipartisan fiscal guardrails, focusing on maintaining stability and financial responsibility.
The proposed tax relief, amounting to an historic $1.5 billion, aims to bring significant savings to working and middle-class families, with the average family set to benefit from over $1,100 in permanent tax relief. In addition to these tax cuts, the proposal also outlines investments in education, healthcare, and non-profit organizations.
“Our budget will give the average family over $1,100 of permanent tax relief,” explained Senator Fazio, equating to the largest middle class tax cut in Connecticut’s history. This proposal is a sustainable and responsible way of reducing excess in bureaucracy returning $1.5 Billion back to taxpayers. Our budget is fiscally responsible and sticking with the guardrails that have helped to secure our surplus.”
The highlights of the proposed tax relief are substantial, including a $325 million retroactive reduction in the state income tax, a $2,000 per child tax deduction, and doubling access to the $300 property tax credit. The proposal also seeks to exempt children’s clothing under $100 from sales tax and to eliminate the Highway Use Tax. According to their examples, a single mom with two children making $80,000 could save $775 each year, while a family of four making $125,000 could save $1,045.
“Budgets are about priorities, and this budget makes it easy to see where Connecticut Republicans’ priorities are,” stated Senate Minority Leader Kevin Kelly. He underscored the importance of reducing healthcare costs for families and expanding access to care, alongside a strong commitment to increasing funding for non-profit health and human service providers.
The Senate Republican plan proposes appropriations of $24.9 billion for the 2024 fiscal year and $25.4 billion for the 2025 fiscal year. This is over $130 million less than what Governor Lamont proposed and $460 million less than what the Appropriations Committee passed. It also outlines $229.5 million in total cuts, including $109 million in savings from accurately budgeting for vacancies, $53.7 million based on expenditure trends, and $29.7 million for position reductions.
“Our proposal gives back $1.5 billion to you. Our budget delivers the largest and most comprehensive tax relief package in state history,” said Senator Henri Martin, emphasizing the broad-based relief that the proposal aims to provide.
“But that’s not all. Our budget will bring direct property tax relief,” said Kevin Kelly. “We all know that many of our fellow neighbors and residents across our great state suffer from high property taxes, and we’ve heard from the majority for years how they were going to fix this problem, but they haven’t. Well, our budget will provide the first doubling of the tax credit in years.”
Senator Lisa Seminara highlighted the importance of supporting non-profit health and human service providers, indicating that the budget invests an additional $100 million in Connecticut’s non-profit sector, marking an increase of 2.5%.
The proposal, if passed, would not only lighten the tax burden for Connecticut residents but also prioritize areas such as healthcare, education, and non-profit organizations. The Senate Republicans have made their priorities clear with this proposal, demonstrating their commitment to delivering substantial tax relief to the residents of Connecticut while maintaining a balanced budget and investing in vital sectors.