I am disappointed that the General Assembly passed the state employee concession contracts. I believe that may have broken the back of Connecticut. I will state the obvious. The Democrats who voted to pass the contracts have also voted for tax increases to pay for those contracts and for the seemingly unending flow of taxpayer dollars into cities.
The Democrats have the votes to get their tax increases and it is likely that the sales tax rate will increase. That is good news for the state employees and cities. I would prefer that no tax increase is passed, but since it is inevitable, perhaps a small portion of projected revenue increase of $420 million or so per year can be allocated to take care of our senior citizens.
I am requesting the members of the General Assembly use a portion of the expected tax increase to provide an immediate 100 percent state income tax exemption to Social Security benefits. Since the spigot will be open, we should make sure that our seniors will have priority just as priority is being given to state employees and cites.
The reality is however that the Democrats have aggressively blocked giving a state income tax waiver to Social Security in past sessions while accommodating other groups. There was much hype at the beginning of the current session that the Democrats would change this year. The reality is that the Democrats at best will defer the State Income tax exemption for Social Security for several years and any delay always puts in play the possibility of an even longer delay in implementing the benefit or to cancel it altogether. It also appears that the Democrats will tie any tax exemption for seniors with exemptions or tax credits for other classes of tax payers.
Should tax increases be passed at this time, I think that it is fair to apply a small portion of the those tax increases to provide an immediate 100 percent state income tax exemption to Social Security benefits . If that does not happen, then I ask the Republican members of the General Assembly to make a public pledge now to include in their 2018 campaigns the commitment to reallocate a portion of any tax increases to provide an immediate 100 percent State Income Tax exemption to Social Security benefits that is retroactive to the 2017 tax year.
Many seniors need help to stay in Connecticut. Many seniors need a reason to stay in Connecticut.
William Marcarelli lives in Southington.