Those expecting the new supermajority in the General Assembly to raise taxes on the rich, as they've been threatening to do for years, may be in for a disappointment:
Raising taxes is not on House Speaker James A. Amann's (D-118) radar screen, and Gov. M. Jodi Rell has been warning the legislature not to spend the state's ballooning surplus.
"I don't know why anybody would be talking about raising taxes now," Amann says. "The economy is doing well and we're in surplus. The gross 2005 receipts bill on diesel products to pay for highway improvements generated way over our estimates. The trucking industry supported the bill, but nobody could have foreseen the increase in the price of petroleum products."
"If somebody brings it up, I'll listen," he says. "But it would have to be a heck of a good reason."(Singer)
Some good news is that, according to Rep. Cameron C. Staples (D-96), House chairman of the state Finance Committee, property tax reform will be a priority for the upcoming session. Whether this means some sort of great and complicated tax reshuffling or something more permanent remains to be seen (I'm betting on the former, by the way).
There is some bad news, however. The situation which is leading Amann to dismiss the Millionaire's Tax now won't last long:
Between October and November the state budget surplus almost doubled to $486.5 million, according to the state Office of Policy & Management (OPM).
Budget shortfalls, however, are forecast as soon as fiscal 2008 by OPM and the legislature's Office of Fiscal Analysis. (Singer)
Expect the Millionaire's Tax to make its glorious return when we arrive in Budget Shortfall Land.
Singer, Karen. " The Rich Get Poorer?." Business New Haven 11 December, 2006.