Budget plan eliminates the “car tax,” but you won’t save a dime

HARTFORD, Conn. (WTNH) — The new budget deal includes a provision to eliminate one of the most hated taxes in government.

But even though the “car tax” would be eliminated, it probably won’t save you a dime. Actually, it might save you a dime, but that’s all, because that’s what they used to say it cost to write a check.

House Republicans were the first ones to emerge from their closed door caucus on the budget deal on Thursday and one of the first things to leak out is the plan for the hated “car tax.” Under current law, the mill rate on your car or truck is capped at 37 mills. Under the bipartisan budget plan, that would go up to 39 mills in 2017 but in the second year, the “car tax” would be completely eliminated.

The “car tax” raises more than $700 million per year for the cities and towns. How will that revenue be made up for municipalities?

When asked, the Republican leader in the House, Rep. Themis Klarides (R-Derby) said, “Towns and cities are going to have to make serious decisions as we’ve made on the state level. As you’ve heard me say before, towns and cities manage their budgets way better than state government ever could.”

Related Content: Leaders say they have a deal, Gov. Malloy skeptical

Democrats also heard about this plan in their caucus on Thursday, and later admitted that this is a way to eliminate a tax without saving taxpayers a dime, except for the cost of writing two checks instead of one. The property tax on your home would probably just go up to make up the difference.

Cities and towns would save the cost of assessing and mailing out a separate tax bill.

“If it was rolled into the mortgage or the property tax payment or the mortgage payment, it would be a better program for us all, It’s a nuisance tax,” said Rep. Joe Aresimowicz (D-Berlin), the Speaker of the House.

Tax hikes that will cost you more include a 45 cent-a-pack hike in the cigarette tax.

Related Content: Charter schools beg for more funding in new budget

The property tax credit would be eliminated for everyone except senior citizens and those with dependents, and the previously agreed to hike in the hospital tax.

“I’m looking forward to a vote next week that will pass by an overwhelming margin in both chambers,” Rep. Aresimowicz added.

The leaders say their members need more time to look at details in this budget plan, and the stuff isn’t ready yet, so they’ll be having more caucuses next week.

The Democratic leaders’ meeting with the Governor to explain the deal has been postponed from Friday to Saturday.

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