Healthcare Groups Push for New Revenues in State Budget Crunch

Those who care for some of the state’s poorest residents said state lawmakers and the governor can’t go down the same road as last year by making spending cuts across the board.

They argued Tuesday for new revenues and to start taxing services that have been exempt from state sales taxes.

“If we don’t take this now, then in the future we’re going to continue to face these problems, so it’s something we’re going to have to confront now is reforming our revenue system,” said Derek Thomas with Connecticut Voices for Children.

The group and several others want to see sales taxes assessed on more services rather than goods. They said the Connecticut economy is more focused on the consumption of services than goods, and that can play to an advantage when it comes to deal with a project $5 billion budget hole.

The services they want to tax compose a long list including architecture design, tax preparation, beauty salon and barbershops, veterinary services, and funeral homes.

All of those proposals have been proposed in the past, but lawmakers have decided against broadening the sales tax base.

For the sake of the healthcare system, Rep. Peter Tercyak said the state needs to puts its priorities front and center and come up with a way to pay for them.

“Healthcare is a human right, not a privilege, not a commodity and we should treat it that way.”

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