Regulation of marijuana
If cigarettes and liquor are legal, then marijuana should be too. Colorado just passed the $500 million mark for revenues raised in nearly three years. Let’s focus on how to deal with how to enforce DUIs and ensuring that marijuana doesn’t get into the hands of children, not whether to legalize.
Increased taxation on the wealthy
In the past 30 years, the top 1 percent of Connecticut income earners have obtained 84 percent of all income gains, while everyone else’s wages have stagnated or declined. In the richest state in the wealthiest country, we should be asking our top-earners to pay their fair share. If you earn $165,000 or more, you pay at most 8 percent of your income to state and local taxes, and those who make $75,000 or less pay at minimum 14 percent. We need to establish a tax structure where everyone pays their fair share.
Property tax reform
Greenwich’s property tax rate is set at 11 mills, Hamden residents pay a tax rate of 47 mills, and Hartford comes in at 75 mills. We can equalize property tax rates by having a single, statewide property tax which would be used for equitable funding of our public education system.
Eliminate property tax exemptions
Each year, $750 million is lost to property tax exemptions for education systems, religious institutions, and government-owned property. A large chunk of this loss is in New Haven and Hartford alone. I believe all property should be taxed the same.
Large employer fee
When big box stores open a branch in Connecticut, oftentimes, its workers are underpaid and profits are siphoned out of the state. Wal-Mart has protocols to direct its workers to apply for state aid. This means the average Connecticut taxpayer is subsidizing these large businesses to underpay its employees. By instituting a large employer fee, we would offset this cost.
CEO-pay ratio tax
As average CEO pay explodes to over 200 times their average employee, we need regulations to help our labor force. As a company pays its CEO more, they should pay a higher corporate tax rate.
No subsidies for companies with high executive pay
If a company’s Chief Executive Officer earns more than 100 times the average Connecticut income – around $71,000 – the company should be ineligible for subsidies and grants from the state.
Closing the carried interest loophole
Hedge fund and equity fund managers pay the federal capital gains rate, not the federal income tax. Since these hedge funds are providing a service, the money they make should be treated like income, not capital. This misclassification is costing the state over $500 million a year.