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After 25 Years, Connecticut's Income Tax Remains Controversial

Chion Wolf
Governor Lowell Weicker signed off on the state's income tax 25 years ago.
Credit Chion Wolf / WNPR
Carol Platt Liebau speaking on WNPR's Where We Live in 2014.

It's been 25 years since the state of Connecticut began to levy an income tax. Facing a huge deficit and a partial government shutdown, the legislature agreed in special session to institute the controversial measure on August 21, 1991. Governor Lowell Weicker signed it into law the next day. 

Speaking on WNPR's Where We Live, Carol Platt Liebau, president of the Yankee Institute for Public Policy says the $126 billion the income tax has brought in since 1991 has been a boon for state government, but she believes it hasn't helped the people of Connecticut. 

"Look at us, now we have the highest state debt per capita in the United States and we have the second highest unfunded liabilities per capita," said Liebau. "It's hard to figure out what the voters have gotten for the $126 billion that has come to Hartford."

Credit Chion Wolf / WNPR
Bill Curry, former comptroller of Connecticut, speaking on WNPR in a file photo.

Bill Curry, who was state comptroller in 1991, said the income tax proposal still hasn't delivered on a promise to ease the tax burden of working class families in the state.

The promise was that tax reform would include property tax and sales tax reform, which would be a relief for the working middle class," Curry said. "I think what the state needs to do is finish the job.

Listen to the full segment:

The Yankee Institute marks the 25th anniversary of the state income tax with a brunch in Stamford featuring guest speaker Grover Nordquist, founder and president of Americans for Tax Reform.

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