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Hartford's Exorbitant Commercial Property Tax Curbs Economic Growth

Jun 30, 2019
Greg Bordonaro / Hartford Business Journal

When D&D Market closed its Franklin Avenue storefront in Sept. 2016, Hartford lost more than a landmark small business.

The third-generation family grocer, caterer and purveyor of fresh foods traces its Capital City roots back to 1932, when present-day owner Daniel D’Aprile’s grandfather opened a bustling market that became a mainstay on one of Hartford’s most vibrant small-business corridors.

Chion Wolf (File photo) / Connecticut Public Radio

For all the recent attention bestowed on Democratic Party progressives, there's new evidence so-called centrists aren't going to just fade away.

Not with former Vice President Joe Biden taking a commanding early lead over the many 2020 Democratic presidential hopefuls running to his left. National polls released Tuesday cast Biden well ahead of Bernie Sanders, Elizabeth Warren, and others vying for the party's nomination.

Frankie Graziano / Connecticut Public Radio

Monday was the deadline for Americans to file their 2018 tax returns, and it was also a day for many to commiserate about paying those taxes, particularly as changes to the tax code are now being realized.

bmJi / Creative Commons / Flickr

High rates of obesity, diabetes and other chronic health conditions have doctors supporting local, state and national policies on reducing the amount of sugary beverages that kids drink.

Chion Wolf / WNPR

Connecticut's unemployment rate is at a 17-year low. The state has stockpiled $1.2 billion in its budget reserve fund. But it's still not in a position to go on anything resembling a spending spree.

Not with state Comptroller Kevin Lembo warning lawmakers against counting on a repeat of last year's spike in tax collections. Job gains in 2018 also were not nearly as robust as initially reported. And no one can rule out the possibility of an economic downturn lurking around the corner.

Frankie Graziano / Connecticut Public Radio

Many Americans are shocked by their 2018 tax refunds.

The Internal Revenue Service is reporting that the average refund is down 17 percent this year as compared to the same time in 2018.

Katie Harp / Pexels

Do you have credit card debt hanging over your head? Or maybe you've been thinking you should start saving for retirement, but you aren’t sure how to pay for it?

This hour we sit down with NPR correspondent Chris Arnold, who covers personal finance and consumer protection. NPR’s new family of podcasts, Life Kit, gives listeners practical tips for navigating life challenges from parenting to healthy eating. Arnold hosts Life Kit’s podcasts about money. They are all about figuring out how to get your finances in order in a fun and approachable way.

Ryan Caron King / Connecticut Public Radio

It's been nearly two months since Ned Lamont was sworn in as Connecticut's 89th governor. 

Elements of his budget proposal, released last month, are being opposed by many segments of the state's population.

Mark Pazniokas / CTMirror.org

Governor Ned Lamont has said he is open to negotiating almost everything in his budget proposal. Well, it seems like lots of people are going to take him up on his offer.

State legislators on opposite sides of the political spectrum are panning Lamont's plan to raise roughly $500 million a year by expanding the goods and services subject to the state's sales tax.

The 2019 tax season is here. Have you filed your forms? If so, good on you for not procrastinating. If not, you might want to reconsider waiting until the last minute... because the U.S. tax code has changed.

This hour, we take an in-depth look at the 2017 Tax Cuts and Jobs Act and find out what it means for those filing taxes this year.

Later, Connecticut Public Radio’s Patrick Skahill takes us inside a UConn lecture hall, where students are learning the science of cultivating... get this... cannabis. 

Getty Images / Pool

President Donald Trump's State of the Union address Tuesday night was full of contrasting tones. Like when he endorsed national paid family leave for new parents, and then just seconds later, called for legislation banning late-term abortions.

Today, we break down his speech, and how well it went over or didn't go over with Congressional Democrats.

Chion Wolf / WNPR

Elections aren't for another nine or so months, but mayoral races are heating up across Connecticut. That includes those in the state's three largest cities where the top municipal leaders are Democrats, and challengers from within the party keep emerging.

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Amazon’s getting billions of dollars in tax breaks and other incentives from New York and Virginia to build its two East Coast headquarters. This hour: has corporate welfare become the standard?

Chion Wolf / Connecticut Public

We’re still finding out results from last Tuesday’s elections in Connecticut and that’s not surprising, really. Some of the races were just really close. That’s probably a good thing.

Another good thing: Lots of people showing up to vote. Gigantic numbers showing up to vote in a midterm election in Connecticut and just about everywhere.

The bad thing: We still can’t seem to get this election thing right at least in our cities.

This hour, we look at possible fixes.

Chion Wolf / WNPR

Some more good news for Connecticut homeowners who are struggling with crumbling foundations -- many will now be able to deduct the cost of repairs from their federal taxes over the next two decades. 

Yinan Chen / Wikimedia Commons

What does effective philanthropy look like in the 21st century?

This hour, we sit down with Jay Williams, the President of the Hartford Foundation for Public Giving.

We also talk with scholar and author, Chuck Collins. He is a one-percenter who dedicated his life to addressing income inequality. Collins’ policy institute has found that charities are increasingly depending on larger donations from a smaller number of wealthy individuals. We ask Collins--is that a good thing?

Democratic candidate for governor Jay Gonzalez announced a proposal on Wednesday to tax private colleges in Massachusetts to pay for his transportation and education plans.

Ryan Caron King / WNPR

Employment and health care top the list of issues concerning Connecticut voters, according to a recent poll.

Frankie Graziano / Connecticut Public Radio

Connecticut is suing the federal government over Republican tax cuts. The $1.5 trillion cuts were signed by President Donald Trump in December and included a cap on federal deductions for state and local tax, or SALT.

Some online sales are about to start costing more.

The U.S. Supreme Court ruled Thursday that states can require retailers to collect and remit sales taxes on out-of-state purchases. The 5-to-4 decision reversed decades-old decisions that protected out-of-state vendors from sales tax obligations unless the vendor had a physical presence in the state.

Photo Phiend / Creative Commons

Legislative leaders say they may consider a special session to look at potential problems with the state’s tax incentive programs for businesses. An audit of economic development incentives administered by state officials has found inaccuracies in both the level of tax credits and the amount of job creation achieved by the companies that benefited. 

Frankie Graziano / Connecticut Public Radio

The deadline to file federal income taxes is Tuesday. Many filers will use a paid preparation service on top of having to pay their taxes. But if you qualify for something the IRS calls the “Volunteer Income Tax Assistance” program or VITA, you can get them done for free.

Jennifer Sanchez, an employee at Lifebridge Community Services in Bridgeport, benefits from the EITC
Harriet Jones / Connecticut Public Radio

As tax time comes down to the wire, an advocacy group is trying to raise awareness of one very under-used tax credit. It’s called the Earned Income Tax Credit, and it’s been boosting the income of low-wage workers for more than 40 years. But it’s still such a well-kept secret that it’s estimated as many as one in five people who are eligible never claim it. 

Ryan Caron King / WNPR

Governor Dannel Malloy is introducing a proposal to restore funding for transportation projects.

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The Affordable Care Act required Americans to carry some form of health insurance. But the new federal tax bill will eliminate what’s called an “individual mandate” for the 2019 tax year.

Mary Anne Williams

The IRS has clarified that Connecticut homeowners who have already incurred expenses to repair crumbling foundations will be able to deduct existing losses from their federal taxes. 

This story was originally published Jan. 8, 2017 at 5:22 p.m. ET.

New England electricity customers could get a direct benefit from a cut in federal corporate taxes — lower utility bills.

Consumer advocates in New England are calling on regulators and utilities to turn over to ratepayers any savings from a reduction in the corporate income tax rate, which the recent tax law knocked down by 40 percent.

The week after Christmas is usually a short and slow one for town officials in New Paltz, N.Y. — but not this time.

"When we opened town hall Wednesday we had almost 100 voicemails from people inquiring about how they could prepay their taxes," says Daniel Torres, the town's deputy supervisor.

And the phones kept ringing. People started lining up. Torres says the clerk's office has a only few people working in it.

"The clerk's office was so overrun. After a certain while we couldn't even pick up the phones anymore," he says.

A glitch in the Republican tax overhaul has created an uncertain future for Newman’s Own Foundation and the food company it operates.

A little-remarked-upon provision changing the way inflation is calculated is among the big changes contained in the tax overhaul signed by President Trump last week.

The new method, using the so-called "chained" consumer price index to determine when to adjust tax brackets and eligibility for deductions, is expected to push more Americans into higher tax brackets more quickly. In the past, the tax code used the traditional CPI measure issued by the Labor Department each month.

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