To the editor:
In 1991, under Gov. Lowell Weicker Jr., Connecticut became the 41st and final state to implement a state income tax. In only 27 years, the income tax rate has increased nearly 55 percent of its original amount, from 4.5 percent to 7 percent.
Despite the growing number of tax increases Connecticut faces, the state economy continues to suffer and shrink. So what gives?
As of 2017, compared to our neighbors (Massachusetts, Rhode Island, and New Hampshire), Connecticut has the highest personal income tax, corporate income tax, capital gains tax, excise tax on cigarettes, and estate tax, the second highest sales tax, excise tax on gasoline and alcohol, and property tax.
Despite these, Connecticut maintains a growing $53 billion debt, and an $18 billion budget deficit. State spending continues to increase, up 71 percent since 1991, and the ever growing need for revenue fuels the state government to implement taxes on whatever they can get their hands on.
Abolishing the income tax at this point seems like a step backwards. Connecticut has a growing debt, why would the solution be fewer taxes? Put simply, it isn’t. Connecticut needs to cut spending and foster growth in order to see economic stability, or even prosperity.
Abolishing the income tax is, however, the first step. Companies and workers are leaving the state for better opportunities, and abolishing the income tax makes Connecticut more attractive to these economic catalysts.
States without an income tax find other sources of revenue, sources Connecticut already uses. It’s time we make the change, too.
Tyler Peruta, Southington