From Taxing Shopping Bags To Licensing Cats, Several Bills Would Boost State Revenue
Bills drawing varied reactions back to top
The bill is drawing mixed reaction from retailers. The Connecticut Food Association, which represents food retailers, supports the bill, saying its members have been working to encourage customers to use reusable bags.
New England Convenience Store & Energy Marketers Association is opposing the bill, meanwhile, saying the 5-cent tax would hurt customers who come to their smaller stores for quick purchases.
Executive Director Joanne Mendes said many customers of smaller stores are on their way to or from work “and do not come in with reusable bags, particularly if they are in urban areas.” Other environmentally focused lawmakers announced earlier this week their plans for a carbon tax, levying surcharges on gasoline, heating oil, and natural gas. The revenues would then be redistributed through rebate checks to those who used less carbon-based fuels than the average resident.
Fuel companies warned that the bill could force some residents to seek out-of-state suppliers who can offer lower rates, while the general business community objected on the grounds that it would drive up costs.
Other proposals that could increase revenues include:
Levying a six-cent tax on medical marijuana at the dispensary level, with the revenues going to fund substance abuse programs. The proposal, from Rep. Vincent Candelora, R-North Branford, is slated for a public hearing today before the Finance, Revenue, and Bonding Committee.
Multiple bills propose a tax on soda and other drinks with added sugar, with proponents saying the surcharge will help deter people from purchasing beverages linked to higher rates of diabetes and obesity. The proposals, with several Democratic co-sponsors, are before the Finance committee, but no public hearing date has been set.
Licensing cats, similar to existing requirements for dogs. The bill, from Rep. Kelly Luxenberg, D-Manchester, appears to have stalled, though, as the Environment Committee hasn’t held a public hearing on it and only has until March 24 to vote on bills.
Raising the age requirement for vehicles to classify as antique to 30 years old, up from 20, and increasing the maximum property tax assessment from $500 to $1,000. The proposals are part of Malloy’s budget.
The Connecticut Council of Car Clubs said it had no objection to raising the age requirement, but opposed doubling the maximum assessment, which would result in higher property tax payments.
David Bjumpaa, a member of CCCC’s board of directors, said the tax is unfair to those who collect cars as a hobby, because they also have to pay taxes on vehicles that serve as their primary mode of transportation. He also said collectors of other items, such as art or coins, don’t face the same problem.