The 2019 legislative session has come to a close. Thanks to everyone in the district who made it either to the Capitol, to a district event, or sent emails. Your feedback helped guide my votes.
The budget passed on time and will invest in education and provide fiscal stability with no income or broad based sales tax increases or cuts to municipal aid. It is not only balanced, but protects taxpayers into the future. By 2022, we will have almost $3 billion in our rainy day fund.
We took important steps to ensure we protected people’s healthcare. We passed legislation to give people with mental health and substance abuse disorders the same access to care as those with cancer and heart disease. This year saw expanded PTSD coverage for our police and firefighters and expanded coverage to include ultrasounds for women with breast density.
I appreciate hearing from you about the issues that matter. I look forward to continuing these conversations.
Tax Free Social Security
People who have pensions and annuities with an adjusted gross income (AGI) up to $75,000 for singles and $100,000 for couples, will have a 14% exemption for this tax year. It will rise to 28% next year, 42% in 2021, 56% the following year, 70% in 2023, 84% in 2024 and 100% in 2025.
The legislation also assures a 100% exemption from income taxes on Social Security for single filers with incomes up to $75,000 and up to $100,000 for couples.
A Streamlined Transfer Act
Created to alert unsuspecting purchasers about properties or businesses with a history of hazardous waste, the Transfer Act has helped clean up more than 7,000 sites. The law’s success has not been perfect. This year we shortened the audit time on a property from 3 years to 60 days. We clarified how much, and for how long, hazardous waste must be in or on a property to fall under the act. This will ultimately protect the public from the cost and length of time a commercial property sits idle, thus getting it back on the tax roles as an income producing property.
Reduced Taxes on Business
This year’s budget saw relief for small business including eliminating the business entity tax on January 1st, and phasing out the capital base tax on corporations by 2024. We extended the successful Angel Investor Tax Credit program to 2024 and expanded options for participants in the program. We created a tax credit for employers to help retain workers when the employer makes student loan payments on the employee’s behalf. And, we created a tax credit for craft breweries who sell products for their customers to take home.
Debt-Free Community College
A new law will require the Board of Regents governing our community colleges to establish by the fall of 2020 a debt-free college program. This will go to Connecticut high school graduates enrolling at a community college as first-time, full-time students for up to three years. The program must provide these students with awards that will cover the unpaid portion of tuition and fees after all other scholarships and aid or a minimum of $250 per semester.