The Connecticut House of Representatives has approved the state budget for the next two years.
State Representatives Phil Young (D-120th) and Joseph Gresko (D-121st) are both applaud the critical state dollars for the Town of Stratford included in the recently passed state budget, as well as the approval of local bonding projects.
"This comprehensive budget heavily invests in Stratford as well as other towns and cities around the state," said Rep. Young. "The agreed upon budget was able to provide much needed funds to institutions that needed them without raising taxes or dipping into the rainy-day fund. It was an excellent achievement that focuses on the present while simultaneously prepping for the future."
"This fiscally responsible budget pays down long-term debt and keeps our robust rainy-day fund while providing middle class tax relief in the form of an increased Earned Income Tax Credit,” said Rep. Gresko. “The investment in Stratford’s Education Cost Sharing formula and increase in town aid means our community will continue to receive the funds it needs to thrive.”
The $46.4 billion budget, an agreement worked out between Governor Lamont and the Democratic majority, will increase funding for municipalities, nonprofit organizations and working families. The budget also contains additional funding for hospitals and local health departments that were impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic.
Below is a breakdown of some of the provisions included in the budget:
Tax Relief for Individuals and Businesses
Certain businesses, such as hotels, restaurants, and bars are permitted to keep 13.6% of the 7.35% sales tax they collect on sales of meals and beverages for Fiscal Year 2022. This tax relief will be beneficial to local businesses that suffered during the pandemic.
Through the budget, financial relief will be provided to culture-based institutions, such as museums, art centers, and tourist hotspots. Similarly, the admissions tax has been eliminated for entertainment venues.
The budget also increases the state’s earned income tax credit to 30.5% of the federal credit. This will provide tax credit for qualifying low-income working families with children.
No Tax Increases
The budget does not include any new taxes or tax increases on increases on gasoline, insurance policies, or large Connecticut households.
Funding For Local Health Departments
Hospitals, local health departments and nonprofits were allocated additional funding to ensure that they have resources necessary to combat any public health emergency in the future.
Financial Stability in the State's Future
Connecticut did not have to utilize any of the $30 billion in the state's Rainy-Day Fund. The state is able to maintain one of the largest Rainy-Day funds per capita in the country. The balance of the fund has allowed the state to keep interest rates low on debt service and allows for the growth continued growth to our state bond cap. These factors have led to Connecticut's first credit upgrade in nearly two decades.
Jumpstarting the Economy
There is a great amount of investment that aims to resurrect the Connecticut economy– the budget includes funding for debt free college and workforce training programs. Funds will also be allocated to the Women's Business Development Council (WBDC). These provisions were included to bolster the state's economy while promoting equitable business practices.
The 2021 Legislative Session ended June 9.