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WWL: Time for Budget Reform?
Where We Live - with John Dankosky
Aired:
05/05/2009
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Connecticut's Budget Dilemma and the Opportunity for Reform

 

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48:58 minutes (23.51 MB)
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State Representative Tom Reynolds is urging his fellow state legislators to use the current fiscal crisis as the impetus for launching a new era of budget reform.  His recommendations are outlined in an essay "Crisis: A Terrible Thing to Waste - Connecticut's Budget Dilemma and the Opportunity for Reform".  Coming up, Where We Live, Reynolds and Republican legislator Arthur O'Neill will join the conversation to talk about state budget reform. 


 
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Listener Email from Rick

Good Morning,
This idea has been rolling around in my head since Lowell Weicker ram-rodded income tax through legislation onto the people of Connecticut.  Well, if an income tax is such a good idea, let's go all the way...
 
  1. Eliminate all taxes in Connecticut except the income tax.  This would include any and all corporate taxes, auto registration, probate, Sales and Use, etc.
  2. Raise the income tax to ten percent.  Per capita income times population at 10% equals roughly 14 billion dollars.
  3. The remaining shortfall should be funded with tolls on the entrances and exits of Routes 84, 91, and 95.  These tolls should apply to out-of-state vehicles only, and should leverage electronic toll pay (EasyPass, Fastlane, etc.) as much as possible.
 
I you stop before the knee-jerk reaction of "this will never work" and really think about the ramifications of a system like this, you begin to see the possibilities.
 
For example, suppose we told the Connecticut Business and Industry Association that we would eliminate all the corporate taxes for their members if the Corporations would agree to fund health care for their employees at 100 percent.
Suppose we could walk into the Motor Vehicle Department (or go online!) and get our car registered for free...or a drivers license!
Imagine the savings to the state if we eliminate all loop holes in the tax code and all deductions, and did away with having to file a tax return.  The cost to print the forms alone every year must run into the millions!, not to mention the cost of all the state agencies that collect and investigate the returns.
 
Lastly, if you've ever driven on route 95 through New Hampshire, you know how a well run toll system can work...and at $1.75, how much money it can generate for the state.
 
All the best!