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taxes

Heather Brandon/WNPR

Regardless of how hard it can seem to find a parking spot sometimes, Hartford and New Haven have built a lot more parking over the past few decades. But that can be a bad thing.

A team of researchers at the University of Connecticut recently investigated the impact of parking policies in six cities across the U.S. 

Ever since the Watergate era, taxpayers have been able to check a box on their federal tax returns and designate a little bit of their tax payment to help finance the presidential campaigns and wean politicians away from big donors.

The public financing program has had its ups and downs. But now President Obama is prepared to sign legislation that, for the first time, takes taxpayer money out of the fund.

First of all, let's pause to reflect on some of the great moments of American political conventions brought to you by presidential matching funds.

Chion Wolf / WNPR

Today, conversations with Connecticut’s top two lawmakers - Senate President Don Williams and House Speaker Brendan Sharkey - about two big issues: Freedom of Information and taxes.

Williams has announced his retirement after 20 years in the legislature after this session ends. We talk about his tenure, which included the aftermath of the scandal that sent Governor John Rowland to jail. And about his testimony over proposed legislation that would limit access to public records.

Attorney General George Jepsen and Connecticut Light & Power have reached a $2.5 million settlement over claims that the power company "impaired and impeded" regulators during an investigation into its response to a major snowstorm in 2011 .The utility has agreed to donate the funds to Operation Fuel—which is a Connecticut energy assistance nonprofit group.

DigiDreamGrafix.com / Creative Commons

Hospital executives and employees spoke out at a legislative hearing about the imposition of a tax that they said has had a detrimental effect on patient care in recent years.

CT-N

Governor Dannel Malloy's proposal to give Connecticut taxpayers a modest rebate was up for discussion before the General Assembly's tax-writing committee on Thursday. Budget chief Benjamin Barnes said it could be a job generator in the state.

For the first time since it legalized recreational marijuana, Colorado is releasing revenue figures: The state made $3.5 million in taxes and fees in January.

As KUSA-TV reports, $2.1 million of that came from the sale of recreational pot and $1.4 million came from medical marijuana.

KUSA adds:

Pratt and Whitney

The state of Connecticut has struck a multi-million dollar deal with United Technologies, which it hopes will safeguard the future of research and manufacturing operations here.

Under the agreement, the state will allow UTC to exercise tax credits it has already built up. The conglomerate can exchange $20 million in tax credits each year, up to a maximum of $400 million.

President Barack Obama is coming to Connecticut on March 5 as part of his campaign to raise the federal minimum wage to $10.10 an hour. The visit follows Governor Dannel Malloy’s heated defense of the proposal at a news conference this week in Washington. Governor Malloy urged the General Assembly to pass a bill this year that would raise the state's minimum wage after the president—in his State of the Union address-- called on Congress to implement the policy nationwide.

Chion Wolf / WNPR

Delayed a day by the snow, Connecticut's lawmakers returned to work to open this year's legislative session, and they began their work by hearing a budget address from Governor Dannel Malloy. 

Sujata Srinivasan

The public will soon have access to a one-stop web portal for information on tax credits and direct financial assistance the state is offering to help businesses grow and expand in Connecticut. Governor Dannel Malloy at a press conference in Bloomfield said taxpayers have the right to know what their state government is doing to promote economic development and job creation. 

Chion Wolf / WNPR

The Department of Revenue Services said it collected almost $180 million in back taxes through a two-month-long amnesty program. That's far in excess of the $35 million it set as a goal at the beginning of the amnesty.

DonkeyHotey / Creative Commons

The state of Connecticut's Department of Revenue Services is offering a amnesty program for individuals and businesses that owe back taxes. Those who take advantage of the program will get a 75 percent reduction in accrued interest, and all other penalties waived. But there are a few catches.

Obama Proposes Cuts In Corporate Tax Rates

Jul 30, 2013

U.S. home prices continue to surge. The Standard & Poor’s/Case-Shiller index out today shows a 12 percent increase in May compared to a year ago.

Low interest rates and an improving job market are boosting demand for homes and driving prices up.

President Obama is out with a plan that he says will improve the job market even more. The president is touring an Amazon distribution center in Chattanooga, Tenn. to announce a so-called “grand bargain” to overhaul the corporate tax system.

Lundgren Photography / Creative Commons

You ever notice how gas prices tend to rise, just when we’re all on the road for summer get-aways?

Well, starting today, we’ll see the prices go even higher – as a Connecticut tax goes up.  It’ll give the state some of the highest prices in the country – but at least that extra revenue will pay to repair the roads…or, not.

Chion Wolf

Yesterday, Governor Malloy signed an executive order establishing the Office of Early Childhood, an idea that has broad support, and funding from the legislature.

"There was no doubt that this legislation, until it apparently got tied up in some politics, was going to pass," said Malloy.

markn3tel, Flickr Creative Commons

Texas Governor Rick Perry is here in Connecticut trying to lure businesses away with promises of low taxes and no regulation.

The truth behind Connecticut's gas prices: Part 3

Jun 7, 2013

This week we’ve been exploring why gas prices are so high in Connecticut. One culprit is a little-known state tax on the wholesale price of gas. On July 1 that’ll go up in the largest gas tax increase in state history. But the money won’t go to helping Connecticut’s transportation infrastructure. 

Last week I paid $3.79 cents for a gallon of gas. 46 cents of it went straight to the state of Connecticut. And I was frustrated. So was my fellow gas-guzzler Tracy Fusco.

The truth behind Connecticut's gas prices: Part 2

Jun 7, 2013

If you’ve ever wondered why gas prices in Connecticut are so high, WNPR’s Neena Satija is finding out this week. Yesterday she explained that a little-known wholesale fuel tax has a lot to do with it. Today she digs into the history of this tax, which will add around 4 cents to the price of a gallon of gas in July.  

No one was ever really supposed to notice that we had a wholesale tax on the price of gasoline in Connecticut. First of all, the oil companies were supposed to pay it – although they passed it on to drivers instead. 

The truth behind Connecticut's gas prices: Part 1

Jun 7, 2013

Ever wonder why gas prices are so high in Connecticut? A lot of it has to do with state gas taxes very few people know about – taxes that are about to undergo a steep increase. 

So, last week I paid $3.79 per gallon of gas at a North Haven gas station. This made me angry. And I asked my fellow gas-guzzlers – who’s to blame?

“I can’t determine what’s going on or what’s causing it," said one customer.

“People are making money off it," said another. Other culprits were "oil from the Middle East" and "Saudi Arabia." 

The Truth Behind Connecticut's Gas Prices

Jun 7, 2013

This is a three-part series. 

Part 1

Ever wonder why gas prices are so high in Connecticut? A lot of it has to do with state gas taxes very few people know about – taxes that are about to undergo a steep increase. 

So, last week I paid $3.79 per gallon of gas at a North Haven gas station. This made me angry. And I asked my fellow gas-guzzlers – who’s to blame?

“I can’t determine what’s going on or what’s causing it," said one customer.

If you've been following the negotiations over the state budget, you've no doubt heard three words: constitutional spending cap. But do you know what they mean?...Neither did WNPR's Jeff Cohen, who brings us this report. What is the constitutional spending cap?

"The constitutional spending cap was adopted as part of a broader political agreement to get majority support for the adoption of a state income tax." That's Bill Curry, a Democrat and one-time state comptroller, talking about the law that is now two decades old.

The debate over the Amazon tax seemed to put e-commerce giants on one side of a bright line, and brick and mortar businesses on the other. But the fact is that the distinctions between real and virtual businesses aren't so clearly defined.

 

Manufacturing might seem to you and me to be the ultimate brick and mortar business. It's an industry where you make things you can drop on your toe in a building you can walk into. Not so, says David Drake.

 

"All the commerce I do is done electronically."

 

Jeff Cohen/WNPR

Governor Dannel Malloy's plan to get rid of the car tax for most of vehicles in the state will not likely pass the legislature. That's according to the office of Democratic House Speaker Brendan Sharkey. WNPR's Jeff Cohen reports. A spokesman for Sharkey says that the car tax is one of the most regressive taxes the state has. On that, he's in agreement with Malloy. But Sharkey doesn't think that the governor's plan is the right one. So he's asking a legislative committee to study the issue further.

Chion Wolf / WNPR

Governor Dannel Malloy’s popularity is at an all-time high, jumping five points in a new poll to 48 percent. What do people like about the job the governor’s doing? Well, they say he’s good in a crisis...and he’s had plenty of those to deal with.

They’re less pleased with his handling of the state budget and tax policy.

A big part of his time in office has been spent trying to overhaul the state’s economy - investing millions in programs like “First Five” - which promises incentives to certain companies that create new jobs.

Small town leaders from across the state were at the state capitol today. As WNPR's Jeff Cohen reports, they were there to push back against one of Governor Dannel Malloy's budget proposals -- the elimination of some car taxes.

Malloy wants to eliminate the property tax for cars worth less than $28,000. He says it will provide middle class tax relief and that it will curtail the "most hated and regressive tax in the state." John Elsesser doesn't like the tax, either. He's the town manager for Coventry.

Harriet Jones

The Malloy administration has made an explicit effort to change Connecticut’s reputation as a state that’s unfriendly to business. To that end, 2011’s Jobs Bill offered loans and tax incentives to companies already hard at work in the state. One of those programs might be about to become a victim of its own success. As WNPR’s Harriet Jones reports, the Job Expansion Tax Credit might have more takers than the state has dollars.

 

 

 

Governor Malloy's Budget

Feb 8, 2013
Chion Wolf

Governor Dannel Malloy’s new budget includes some tax relief, and a promise of no new taxes.  But it’s also a document that even some in his party are calling “confusing.”  Today, where we live, we’ll try to pull apart fiction from reality in the new two-year state budget.

Governor Dannel Malloy presented his budget to the legislature today.  In it is at least one item intended to be attractive to the state's taxpayers.  As WNPR's Jeff Cohen reports, Malloy wants to exempt most cars from the property tax. Connecticut residents pay taxes based on the value of their cars, and they pay them to the town where the vehicle is registered. Malloy says this system has been historically unfair.

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