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Tax Study Shows ‘Who Pays What’ in CT

February 1, 2010

HARTFORD, Conn. - Tax season is underway, and a new analysis from Connecticut Voices for Children compares "who pays what" according to income. The organization's study found that the richest in Connecticut pay the lowest percentage of their income in state and local taxes, and their tax rate is lower than the rate the wealthiest are taxed in almost every other state.

Research analyst Joachim Hero says the top income earners pay about five percent, while middle-income families pay 10 percent, and the highest tax percentage is levied on those least able to pay.

"The lowest 20 percent of income earners are taxed about 12 percent, which puts Connecticut in the top 10 of states that have the highest taxes on the poor."

Although Connecticut raised taxes on those with the highest incomes in 2009, even with that tax hike Hero says the richest Nutmeggers pay less than half the percentage their peers do in other states.

This research shows that Connecticut has some repair work to do to make its tax system more equitable, Hero adds. Placing the highest rates on the poorest is what's called a "regressive" tax structure, which he says weakens the state's ability to raise revenue in tough times.

"That structure is not only bad public policy, it's also bad economic policy. Having a tax system that reduces the regressivity actually would increase the money flow in the economy."

The full report, "Connecticut's Wealthy Pay Smaller Share of Income Than Most Residents in State and Local Taxes," is available at www.ctkidslink.org.

Deb Courson, Public News Service - CT