Democratic games with taxes hit Greenwich hard

Greenwich-Voices-DadakisIf you haven’t filed your tax returns to Hartford and Washington I hope you got an extension, or else the IRS may come a-calling and you don’t want to face Lois Lerner.

Many Greenwich taxpayers saw on their federal taxes the results of the hard work of our fellow town resident U.S. Rep. Jim Himes through a big tax increase to cover Obamacare costs. Himes and his fellow Democrats imposed a 3.8% surcharge on a lot of non-wage income to cover Obamacare costs that they rammed through Congress without a single Republican vote.

Were you surprised the surcharge impacted you? After all, Himes and the Democrats said it’s only for the despised “rich” and you might not have considered yourself rich. Well, it turns out that the truth depends on the meaning of the word “rich.”

The surcharge begins at incomes as low as $200,000. That income level may make you rich in Omaha but not in Greenwich. Himes could’ve chosen fairness for his constituents by insisting on indexing the “rich” definition with cost-of-living factors but instead he chose to go along with Nancy Pelosi — so you pay the tax, rich or not.

Regarding Connecticut taxes, most Greenwich taxpayers felt the impact of Dan Malloy’s massive income tax increase. During the campaign, Malloy promised raising taxes would be a last resort, yet merely 124 days into office he delightedly signed Connecticut’s largest income tax increase.

Analyzing its impact, you’d realize he also signed a declaration of financial war against Greenwich taxpayers, chasing away some high-profile Greenwich citizens, including Eddie Lampert and former First Selectman Tom Ragland. Hartford recently released 2012 income tax receipts by municipality, and by comparing those figures against the 2011 figures, you see the impact on Greenwich is staggering.

In 2011 Greenwich taxpayers paid Connecticut income tax of $619.9 million, averaging $24,205 per return. In 2012 Greenwich taxpayers paid $847.3 million, 37% more than 2011. The amount of the average return increased to $31,597. Greenwich pays 13.5% of all income tax receipts yet represents only 1.7% of the population.

In 2012 Greenwich taxpayers, on average, paid an additional $7,392 per return over 2011, while the remaining Connecticut taxpayers, on average, paid an additional $193. Put another way, in 2012 the average Greenwich taxpayer paid 38 times more in additional taxes compared to other average Connecticut taxpayers.

Does Malloy still think Greenwich taxpayers don’t pay their fair share?

The tax increase is even more disturbing when you recall the games Malloy and the Democrats played pretending to achieve spending reductions. The most cynical was the “Employee Suggestion Box,” which Malloy said would save $90 million. The actual savings? Zero.

It’s one thing to pay enormous taxes if the state is run efficiently, but no one believes that is true. When it comes to the budget, Malloy and the Democrats are the gimmick kings. The next trick our governor has up his sleeve is to take $155 million of taxpayer funds, spreading it around as a “rebate” in what one friend called a “political payoff” to enhance Malloy’s re-election chances. This is so disrespectful of hardworking taxpayers as Connecticut drowns in debt that even the Democratic legislative supermajorities may not support it.

But Malloy and his redistribution-minded Democrats won’t stop at inequitable payment of income tax. They’re salivating to attack Greenwich taxpayers on another front — a statewide property tax. Expect them to start with the car tax, perhaps as early as this year, and then they will pivot to include houses and commercial property. Previously Democrats indicated 10 is a reasonable statewide mill rate, meaning that, if enacted, most Greenwich property owners’ taxes would almost double.

As you can see, Democrats just love taxes.

 

Ed Dadakis is former chairman of the Republican Town Committee and has spent more than 30 years serving on the Representative Town Meeting (RTM). He may be reached at [email protected]

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