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Bill Looks at an Overhaul of Connecticut’s Revenue Sources

May 5, 2010

HARTFORD, Conn. - Every other year, including this one, the Connecticut General Assembly holds a so-called short session, set up to deal with the state's two-year budget process. But supporters of a bill that has passed the House and is now in the Senate hope it prompts state lawmakers to step back and take a more comprehensive look at budgeting, by creating a Revenue Accountability Commission.

Jamey Bell, executive director of Connecticut Voices for Children, says there's been no such review in the past two decades and explains how the legislation (HB 5534) would address the state's budget crisis.

"It directs the commission to look at all revenue sources, not merely taxation. So, it wouldn't just look at the personal income tax or the corporate tax, or the sales and use tax, or property taxes."

Business representatives initially opposed the bill, but dropped their resistance when some changes were made to the composition of the Commission, and to place safeguards on the privacy of tax returns.

Bell notes there are other possible sources of income for the state that the commission could explore.

"Beyond revenue that's available from taxes, it can also look at any kind of local but also federal revenue sources that will be available in the short term or the long term, so Connecticut can maximize all the possibilities for revenue going forward."

She says more than 400 changes to the tax structure have been made over the past 20 years, without any overall design or understanding of how they fit together. The bill can be viewed online at www.cga.ct.gov.

Melinda Tuhus/Chris Thomas, Public News Service - CT