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Lamont car tax cut proposal runs into opposition from key legislative leader

Jason DeCrow

Connecticut Governor Ned Lamont's proposal to reduce local motor vehicle taxes has run into trouble in the Legislature.

Senator Cathy Osten, co-chair of the Appropriations Committee, said $160 million budgeted to reimburse cities and towns for lost car tax revenue could be better spent on early childhood education.

“I would rather see us working for something of a benefit for early child care. For I have had constant communications with Commissioner Bye about the early child care desert that's in Eastern Connecticut,” Osten said.

Lamont’s proposal would lower the state’s maximum mill rate for motor vehicle taxes from 45 mills to 29 mills. That means that a car worth $25,000 assessed at $1,125 in East Hartford and only $292 in Greenwich, would be assessed closer to the lower amount in both towns, representing an $833 savings for the East Hartford resident.

“We have proposed a number of tax  cuts that I think really help the middle class which has been slammed and help people deal with inflation which is going to be with us a little bit longer,” Lamont said.

Osten said the cut provides little relief for poor and middle class taxpayers. For example the owner of a $5,000 car would save $34 while the owner of a $50,000 vehicle would save $344.

“If we want to really save people money, why don’t we exempt cars worth less than $10,000 from taxes at all,” Osten said.

Osten doesn’t believe her committee would approve the car tax relief proposal.

Copyright 2022 WSHU. To see more, visit WSHU.

As WSHU Public Radio’s award-winning senior political reporter, Ebong Udoma draws on his extensive tenure to delve deep into state politics during a major election year. In addition to providing long-form reports and features for WSHU, he regularly contributes spot news to NPR, and has worked at the NPR National News Desk as part of NPR’s diversity initiative.

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