Thirty Democratic lawmakers are calling for increases in taxes on the wealthy and better access to health insurance.
“Our state has lost 7,133 fellow residents to COVID-19. We have nearly 200,000 people still out of work, the majority of which are women. And there are thousands of families fearful losing their homes,” Rep. Kate Farrar said.
Farrar, from West Hartford, said that’s why she and fellow Democrats are calling for tax increases to pay for education, programs to help residents stay in their homes and afford their health insurance.
Denise Rogers, who worked driving a shuttle bus at the height of the pandemic, is one of the people they are looking to help.
“I’ve now been diagnosed as a long-hauler of COVID. I’m still having the side effects,” Rogers said.
Rogers lost her husband to COVID-19 in may and has struggled to get workers' compensation.
“It’s still a battle out here and we yet need your help. I need your help. We need your help,” Rogers said.
Farrar said “a fair recovery will make sure that we show in Connecticut that we can come together and take care of one another.”
In addition to increases in funding for education and health insurance, they want to give residents who lost their job during the pandemic a one-time $500 payment.
How do they plan to pay for all of this?
“We are recommending a 2% statewide tax on all homes that are over $1.5 million, on the parts that’s over $1.5 million. That would bring in an additional $663 million to be able to help with the things that we’re talking about,” Rep. Quentin Phipps, D-Middletown, said.
They’re also talking about a 10% digital ad tax for companies like Facebook, Amazon and Google, a 5% tax on capital gains for individuals who earn over half-million a year, and an income tax increase for the wealthy.
“It’s an almost $4 billion proposal. It would be the largest tax increase in Connecticut’s history,” Senate Republican Leader Kevin Kelly said.
Kelly said it’s the wrong idea at the wrong time.
“There’s no shortage of ideas on how to get into middle-class pockets,” Kelly said.
Gov. Ned Lamont, a Democrat, has said repeatedly that there’s no reason to increase taxes because revenues have grown on their own.