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Lamont, Tong promise to protect CT taxpayers

August 29, 2018

If he’s elected governor, Democrat Ned Lamont said Wednesday that he would help fight a new federal tax law that will hurt homeowners who pay more than $10,000 in state and local taxes.

Appearing in East Hartford Town Hall with other Democrats, Lamont linked President Trump’s budget with Republican candidate for governor Bob Stefanowski of Madison, saying that Trump’s plan forces the federal budget into a $800-billion increase in the federal deficit.

“It’s the middle-class, the working class that gets hammered by a tax bill like this,” Lamont said, noting that tax deductions go back to the tenure of another Republican President: Abraham Lincoln. “You think about this Trump tax bill. It reminds me a little of the (proposed) Stefanowski elimination of the state income tax. We cannot borrow in this state. We must pay our bills.”

State Rep. William Tong of Stamford, the Democratic candidate for attorney general, echoed those sentiments.

“If you’re a Connecticut taxpayer, the president of the United States and his administration have declared war on you and your family,” Tong said. “What we’re seeing now is how the president’s policies are a direct attack on the families here in Connecticut and are doing untold harm and damage.”

Tong said the tax bill passed by the Republican-controlled Congress and signed into law by President Trump amounts to the largest tax increase in state history: $2.8-billion. Connecticut taxpayers lost $10.3-billion in deductions under the law, which capped state and local tax deductions at $10,000. Connecticut has joined New York, Maryland, New Jersey and Massachusetts in suing the Trump administration on the issue.

But Steve Mnuchin, secretary of the United States Treasury recently ruled against two tactics that some states, including Connecticut, have adopted to help their residents avoid tax increases: allowing residents to pay property tax bills by making charitable contributions; and letting limited-liability corporations receive credits for state and local taxes.

Stefanowski disagreed with Lamont’s premise.

“Ned concentrating on state and local deductions ignores the root of the problem, which is that he and Dan Malloy have supported tax increase after tax increase,” said Kendall Marr, Stefanowski’s spokesman. “Stefanowski wants to completely eliminate the state income tax over the next 8 years, which would actually solve the problem rather than mask it, as Ned Lamont seeks to do.”

Staff writer Kaitlyn Krasselt contributed to this report.

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