I'll be on the road during the speech, too far north to catch WTIC or other Connecticut radio stations, so I'll have to catch up when I return. Commentary about the speech and the start of the legislative session can go here.
Update 2:30pm: The big focus is on Rell's startling proposal to eliminate municipal property tax on cars. Here's the relevant text from the speech:
Under my plan, beginning this July you will no longer have to write a check for your car taxes. It will be a thing of the past, and the real property tax relief that so many have been talking about for so long will finally become a reality.
Direct property tax relief, with money actually put in the wallets of taxpayers. Not indirect property tax relief that is little more than spending relief for elected officials.
How we can afford to do this?
We will intercept the $435 million we collect each year in casino revenue along with another $61 million in General Fund revenue to ensure municipalities will not lose local revenue as a result of the elimination of the property tax on automobiles. The balance of my Casino Assistance Revenue or CAR grant will come from eliminating the $350 property tax credit that some taxpayers received.
If you are a Bridgeport resident who owns a 2003 Four-Door Taurus Wagon, you are paying $309 in annual property taxes. The same exact car carries a tax of $103 in New Canaan. So, a taxpayer in Bridgeport pays a tax bill that is 3 times higher than a taxpayer in New Canaan.
I like the idea. It will benefit more people than the current homeowners' tax credit, and it does away with a disparity between cities and wealthier towns.