Antiquated tax system

To the Editor:

Connecticut Senate President Pro Tempore, Martin Looney, a Democrat who represents New Haven, Hamden and North Haven, had a decent, and proven even elsewhere, concept in mind to reduce the reliance of cities and towns on the local property tax. Unfortunately, he sabotaged the concept with the specifics of his proposed legislation.

The concept, law in other states, is to let the cities and towns keep a portion of the sales tax the state already collects from businesses located within their boundaries. Contrary to popular belief, commercial operations do demand services from the locals. Letting the locals keep some of the sales tax would recognize that reality and reduce the local mill rate on all of us.

Looney sabotaged the idea by linking it to a proposed increase in the overall sales tax rate. He went even further when he proposed that any suburb adjacent to a city share some of its own sales tax revenue with that city. The proposal was dead on arrival; so dead I know of no one who even remembers it. And, of course nobody, from either side of the aisle, did anything in the way of offering up a compromise in an attempt to revive it.

The idea of taxing property as the primary way to pay for local government services in Connecticut is just plain antiquated. Politicians of all political stripes love to lament that Connecticut’s reliance on the property tax to fund local services is hurtful to our economic vitality. Additionally and especially here In Fairfield, the number one reason property values have declined, where they have declined and by more than in nearby towns, is because of the out of whack mill rate.

Instead of looking at what was wrong with Looney’s proposal how about looking at what was right, modify it, and get something done for a change?

Jim Brown


Commission punted

To the Editor:

I’m not sure if the commissioners of the State Elections Enforcement Commission (all of whom are men by the way) fell on their heads and woke up thinking it’s 1959. Their punting to the General Assembly the issue of whether political campaign money can be used for child care I found to be a cop out.

The Commission was created in the wake of the Watergate scandal to ensure integrity in our state’s election process and the Citizens’ Election Program was created to allow people a fair chance to run for public office no matter the size of their bank account.

According to the most recent US Census women make up 51 percent of our state’s population, yet according to the National Conference of State Legislatures women only make up 32 percent of the State Senate and General Assembly, which is actually a slight improvement from 27 percent before the 2018 election.

According to data from the Annie E. Casey Foundation 33percent of children in our state are being raised by a single parent. Our state legislature needs those critical perspectives when drafting and voting on bills that will help our most vulnerable residents, and by sending out the message that child care won’t be paid for but golf tees with a candidate’s name on will be, it will only discourage more people from running for public office.

Maybe that’s why our state has yet to pass paid family medical leave, the TIMES UP Act, or raised the minimum wage to a livable wage.

Leanne Harpin