Connecticut Comptroller Kevin Lembo says he’s updated his online state revenue calculator to make it easier for Connecticut residents to understand how increases or decreases in proposed taxes would affect the state’s ability to fund services.
In the face of huge budget deficits over the past few years, Connecticut lawmakers have had a hard time finding ways to balance the state’s budget. Lembo says his online tool gives the public insight into that dilemma and helps make government more transparent. He says the tool allows you to change tax rates for major tax categories, eliminate tax exemptions and credits, and enact new sources of tax revenue all while seeing the impact on state revenues.
“I’m hoping that tools like this will be used not only by policymakers, but by those who monitor policymakers, to make sure that the things they are saying are, in fact, true. So I can tell you right now, ‘I’m going to do A, B, and C and that’s going to make everything better.’ Well then you on your iPhone, while I’m speaking, can pull this up and say this is the impact of what you’ve just said. How would you accommodate that.”
In Connecticut taxpayer dollars are deposited primarily into two accounts: the General Fund that funds the bulk of state government operations, which lawmakers have discretion over, and the Special Transportation Fund, which pays for maintenance of the state’s public transportation system and major road infrastructure and development. Lawmakers have passed laws restricting their ability to dip into that account.
The Do-it-Yourself Revenue Calculator can be found on the state comptroller’s website.