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Lawmakers Push Lamont To Reverse Opposition To New Taxes For Connecticut's Wealthy

The Connecticut State Capitol Building in Hartford
The Connecticut State Capitol Building in Hartford

A group of about 30 Connecticut lawmakers have urged Governor Ned Lamont to consider new taxes on the wealthy to help provide relief for working families affected by the pandemic.

Senator Julie Kushner is a Democrat from Danbury. She said this is the time to create a more equitable tax system in Connecticut because some of the state’s wealthiest families have had a substantial increase in their wealth during the pandemic, while many working families have had to contend with poverty, food insecurity, job loss, educational disparities and a growing housing crisis.

“We need to make sure that we are focused on inequity. We are focused on opportunity for everyone. We are focused on the long term unemployment challenges we will face to come out of this COVID catastrophe much stronger,” Kushner said.

Kushner and her colleagues urged Lamont to consider a mansion tax on homes worth $1.5 million or more to raise $663 million a year; reduce the estate tax exemption to $2 million and generate $162 million a year; and introduce a 5% surtax on capital gains to raise another $850 million a year.

Representative Kate Farrar, a Democrat from West Hartford, agreed that more equitable taxes are needed because the wealthy have become wealthier during the pandemic, while the working class have become poorer.

“We wanted to make sure to come out with a plan to continue to jump start the emergency and a focus on a package that would not just bring relief in the moment but really will truly have a recovery for all,” Farrar said.

Lamont has said he does not support new taxes. He presents his two-year budget plan to lawmakers next week.

As WSHU Public Radio’s award-winning senior political reporter, Ebong Udoma draws on his extensive tenure to delve deep into state politics during a major election year.