UPDATE: As of 11:37 p.m. on Thursday, officials say there will be no budget deal made on Thursday, Friday or Monday of next week.
HARTFORD, Conn. (WTNH)– The final deal between the Governor and Democratic leaders wasn’t announced until about 2 p.m. on Thursday.
In that final deal, that cell phone surcharge/tax that we first told you about on Wednesday has been reduced from a dollar per month to 49 cents per month. The 49 cents per month would make it more competitive with surrounding states. The surcharge in Massachusetts is also 49 cents.
There is no increase in the sales tax, no increase in the income tax and no increase in the real estate conveyance tax.
Besides the 49 cent per month, per line cell phone tax, the property tax credit for homeowners is reduced from the current $200 to $100.
In a compromise, hospitals have agreed to an increase in the hospital tax from the current 6 percent to 8 percent with a promise of increased Medicaid reimbursement.
There is also a 45 cent per pack increase in the cigarette tax.
Hundreds of millions of dollars in local aid to cities and towns and for local education have been restored, although not as much as last year.
The City of Hartford gets an approximately $40 million bail out, but will be governed by a Finance Advisory Board like they had in Waterbury.
There are hundreds of millions in spending cuts, but not as much as would be in the Governor’s Executive Order with no budget plan.
There is also a new tax on out of state residents that own summer or weekend homes here. It would increase the mill rate on those homes with the additional revenue going to the state.
It’s very clear that a very long night is expected.
Just after 2:30 p.m. Thursday, Governor Dannel Malloy issued a statement on the progress.
The urgency of the present moment cannot be overstated. It is critical that a responsible budget is passed by the General Assembly, one that provides greater predictability and stability for the people and businesses of Connecticut. Local governments, community providers, parents, teachers and students – all of them are best served by passing a budget, and passing it now.
“The budget framework now being finalized by the General Assembly appears to be a balanced and responsible compromise. After finalizing an historic agreement with state employees to save tens of billions of dollars, this budget includes hundreds of millions of dollars in spending cuts, achieving balance without any increases to the sales or income tax rates. It would restore hundreds of millions in town aid, and also include a fair and transparent education funding formula that supports schools and students in communities across Connecticut – big and small. And, it would offer real structural reforms to put our state on better financial footing now and into the future.
“I want to express my gratitude to Democratic leaders for their perseverance getting to this point. There is still much work to be done, final language to be reviewed, and a vote to be taken. But an agreement appears to be within sight. I await a vote by the General Assembly and a balanced budget arriving on my desk for signature.”