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Still a Tax

Published June 26, 2019

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In State Representative Christine Palm (D-36)’s review of the recent legislative session [June 13 article “State Rep. Palm Reviews Legislative Freshman Year”], she asserts that the recent state budget does not raise tax rates. I guess that depends on your perspective. In the review, she also identifies that the legislature enacted a paid family leave program. This program is funded by up to a 0.5 percent, across-the-board payroll deduction up to approximately a $130,000 payroll limit.

When I look at my future paychecks, I am going to see less take-home pay. There will be a line item in the deduction column that will say “FMLA insurance” or the like. The recipient of that money—my money—will be the State of Connecticut or some quasi-public agency. Saying the budget didn’t increase taxes is semantics. All I know is I just experienced a tax increase. Be it a budget line-item or a legislative bill, what’s the difference? A payroll deduction going to the state by any other name is still a tax.

The merits of the paid family leave program can be argued. Likewise, the future solvency of the program can also be brought into question. The effects on small businesses is equally a concern. The legislative review failed to present some valid concerns with the legislation.

On a side note, if the Courier is going to publish articles similar to this, it would benefit readers to also see investigative articles that present all sides of the issues. It is nice to have a feel-good local paper, but it often presents a lopsided perspective when all points of view are not presented.

Phil Beckman