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WWL: In This Together?
Where We Live - with John Dankosky
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State employees say they've made their concessions - now it's time for tax increases for the richest residents


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49:01 minutes (23.53 MB)
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State workers negotiated a deal with Governor Rell that's supposed to save the state about $700 million over the next two years.  It includes wage freezes, three unpaid furlough days, and increased employee contributions to benefits.  In return the state agreed not to have laoffs for the next two years.

But some critics say those concessions don't go far enough - given the current economic climate.  They say most businesses can't guarantee no layoffs, and can't afford a benefits package as rich as state workers get.

Today, Where We Live, we'll continue our conversation about the direction of the state during this budget crisis.  Two weeks ago, we talked to John Rathgeber of the Connecticut Business and Industry Association.  Today, we'll welcome representatives from The State Employees Bargaining Agent Coalition and Better Choices for Connecticut.  They'll respond to the Governor's newest budget proposal and talk about their roles in helping to navigate the state's fiscal crisis.  

Leave your questions and comments below or email [email protected].

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I cannot believe that

I cannot believe that governor claimed we ALREADY have a progressive income tax.

To call it a misstatement would be a lie.

The governor has been claiming thier are no millionaires left in Ct.Then why is she so concerned with taxing people that arent there??

And the Corporate taxes, Webster Bank has paid ZERO income tax CT for many years now and thats only the tip of the iceberg.

her problem is that she lies, but looks like a gramma. 

If my grandma ever lied to me like that my parents would have cut off communication.   

Tweet: GregGrew@wherewelive

Everyone knows public section less efficient than private. What about reducing mgmt levels or prioritize services? 

Listener Email from Elizabeth

Concerning Connecticut's regressive tax structure - this year is not a good year to discuss income tax reductions, but there is no medical expense deduction from the state income tax (unlike the federal income tax) so a senior citizen with fixed income and high medical costs could (and frequently does) wind up with virtually no federal income tax liability but a very high Connecticut income tax bill. We cannot have a fair and accurate discussion of the state income tax if we only focus on tax brackets and marginal tax rates - we also should look at how we calculate taxable income.


Listener Email

I agree that the tax rate should be increased for the "wealthiest people in the state", or for "the very rich", as it was worded several times on Where We Live. However I think we need to be more specific about the definition of "wealthiest".

Am I correct in my understanding that the top tax bracket in Connecticut starts at an income of $60,000/year? I think I heard that figure on the program. Is this not a very wide tax bracket? What is the upper end of the tax bracket? Is there any consideration being given to breaking that down into several tax brackets?

I don't think in a place like Connecticut, where housing is as expensive as it is, that $60,000 is so much as to be "very rich". Although definitely a comfortable salary, $60,000 is nowhere near the yearly income of "wealthiest people in the state". Why would somebody making $60,000 be taxed at the same rate as somebody earning $300,000 or more per year?