Floren, Walko and Camillo say Cafero’s proposals help businesses and consumers

FI-Letter-to-the-EditorTo the Editor

The following submission was sent by Greenwich’s state representative delegation to Hartford and is being reprinted with their permission.

 

We are in strong support of Republican Leader Larry Cafero’s proposal to save consumers a total of $185 million by restoring tax exemptions for clothing, footwear and over-the-counter medicine and providing small business relief by eliminating a special unemployment assessment of $59 million.

This can be done without adding to the state deficit.

The clothing and footwear exemption for items under $50, which is projected to cost $167 million, is scheduled to be restored in July 2015. House Republicans want to advance this date to April 1, 2014. The revenue loss of $167.6 million will be offset by using excess revenue.

As we all know, footwear and clothing are essential everyday items. This tax cut would not only help working and middle class families, who most of the time take the “brunt of the burden” when it comes to taxes, but should also help businesses increase sales. Lower costs stimulate commerce.

By eliminating the special assessment on businesses for the state unemployment fund, this proposal will use excess revenue to pay the interest on money borrowed from the federal government to cover unemployment benefits. So far this special assessment has cost Connecticut businesses $71 million since 2010.

Businesses shouldn’t have to foot the bill because the state was unable to pay off interest on money it borrowed from the federal government. We need to show that Connecticut is open for business and provide businesses with opportunities to grow.

The delegation also supports restoring the tax exemption on non-prescription drugs. This proposal restores the exemption starting April 1. The revenue loss will be offset by the use of excess revenue and by keeping the Earned Income Tax Credit at the current 25% level.

We originally established the tax exemption in recognition that everyone uses non-prescription drugs to help cope with injuries and ailments that may occur in everyday life, and no one should be burdened by a tax that would increase this cost. The proposal truly helps alleviate some of the burdens placed on the citizens and businesses in our state. These tax reforms benefit everyone from seniors to working families.

 

Livvy Floren
Stephen Walko
Fred Camillo
Greenwich

The authors are the state representatives from Connecticut’s 149th, 150th and 151st districts.

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