Weston's Boucher Opposes Bill To Spend $155 Million For $55 Rebate

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Sen. Toni Boucher (R-Wilton) is opposing a bill from the governor to spend $155 million in surplus money toward a $55 rebate for taxpayers.
Sen. Toni Boucher (R-Wilton) is opposing a bill from the governor to spend $155 million in surplus money toward a $55 rebate for taxpayers. Photo Credit: Contributed

WILTON, Conn. -- Sen. Toni Boucher (R-Wilton) is opposing a bill from the governor to spend $155 million in surplus money toward a $55 rebate for taxpayers. 

Boucher, a member of the Finance, Revenue and Bonding Committee, recently voted against the proposed bill. The rebate is supposed to reward voters who paid on average $700 in increased taxes when Gov. Dannel Malloy "passed the largest tax increase in our state’s history," according to a release from Boucher's office. 

“People laugh at this proposal. They see this as an election year gimmick,” said Boucher, who also represents New Canaan, Redding, Ridgefield, Weston and Westport in the state Senate. 

The projected budget surplus is estimated at $500 million.

"If this surplus is real and not just based on borrowed money that was not used, Sen. Boucher would like to see the state do a combination of things. First, to pay down debt and second to give taxpayers and businesses significant long lasting tax breaks," said a press release. 

“Many employers are paying as much as $42 more per employee in unemployment compensation fund taxes because the state had to borrow from the federal government. For the third year in a row these small businesses are paying a penalty because the state did not budget properly,” said Boucher. “If we ease the burden on these businesses maybe they will have some flexibility to hire additional workers.”

Boucher proposed an amendment to the bill that would require a tax exemption on 25 percent of the income received from any public or private pension or retirement system, including Social Security, going back to January. Malloy had proposed a 25 percent exemption for retired teachers’ pensions only. The governor’s proposal is estimated to cost the state $23.7 million per year, according to the release. 

“The controversial tax exemption for teacher’s pensions has many retirees seeing red,” said Boucher. “Everyone I have spoken to knows that what Connecticut needs is real tax reform, not an election year proposal that picks winners and losers and which taxes some pensions and not others. It is widely acknowledged by the people of Connecticut but not enough in the legislature or the Governor’s office, that Connecticut’s high taxes are driving people and jobs out of state.

"It is reported that Connecticut is the worst state to retire in. Why? Because retirees have to bear the costs of high income, inheritance, gift, real estate and pension taxes. This burden does fall not just on retired teachers, but on custodians, accountants, doctors, nurses, builders, Realtors and other retirees. Connecticut is one of the few states that taxes pensions.”

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