Letter: Reader offers his input on the state budget issues

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To the editor:

Some comments on Taylor Hartz’s July 10th article concerning the State Budget. First a misprint. The $1.3 billion cited for additional funding to Southington appears to wrong and may actually be $1.3 million.

The increased tax exemption for veteran’s retirement pay is a step in the right direction.

Veteran pensions previously received a 50 percent income tax waiver which will now increase to 100 percent. The 50 percent income tax waiver that the Democrats gave to state teacher pensions demands this increase for veterans.

Still the Democrats could have done more for veterans. Legislation was introduced but not passed in the 2015 to award a 50 percent property tax exemption for disabled veterans and a substantial (10 percent or perhaps $10,000) and meaningful property tax exemption for all veterans.

The benefits of the 50 percent income tax wavier for state teacher pensions and the 100 percent income tax wavier for Tier 1 Railroad pensions were not given to social security or private pension income.

The 100 percent income tax wavier for veteran pensions is important for perhaps a not so obvious reason. The scope of operations at the Groton submarine base has been curtail and may even be totally phase out at some point. So much so that the commanding officer billet at the base is no longer at the Admiral level.

Military retirees there plainly say that retirement in Connecticut is not financially feasible. The income tax waiver should help here. That is important because the voices of retired military personnel in the Groton area may be needed to keep that base from realizing further contraction.

A town hall meeting with our state reps would be helpful to ascertain the impact of property tax reform and other provisions in the budget. After all, this is important stuff.

Bill Marcarelli, Southington

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