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Coupon Tax Legislation May be Clipped

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(Credit:  WTIC Photo)

(Credit: WTIC Photo)

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By SUSAN HAIGH    Associated Press
HARTFORD, Conn. (AP) _ The governor’s proposal to tax goods
based on the price before a coupon is applied appears to be dead,
according to Senate President Donald Williams Jr.

Williams told The Associated Press on Tuesday that the proposal
“almost certainly” won’t be part of the tax package voted out of
the General Assembly’s Finance Revenue and Bonding Committee. The
panel faces an April 27 deadline.

“Folks recognize that it’s burdensome and it also hurts folks
who are trying to save money in every way that they can,” said
Williams, a Democrat from Brooklyn. He said a number of legislators
received complaints about Gov. Dannel P. Malloy’s proposal from
constituents who are devotees of coupons.

“There are a lot of folks, including middle-income folks, who
are struggling with this economy, who rely on coupons to try and
keep down their household expenses,” he said.

Malloy, a Democrat, has proposed about $1.5 billion in tax
increases for the new fiscal year beginning July 1 to help cover a
projected $3.5 billion deficit. He proposed rolling back a number
of exemptions from the state sales tax, including the little-known
exemption on coupons. The tax was expected to provide the state
with $92 million in revenue over Malloy’s proposed two-year, $40
billion budget.

Benjamin Barnes, Malloy’s budget director, admitted he wasn’t a
fan of the proposal but said the administration is forced to
examine numerous tax exemptions currently on the books because of
the state’s fiscal woes.

Malloy’s proposal applied to only non-food items. But avid
couponers said they rely on the discounts to help pay for items
such as cleaning supplies and clothing.
Williams said the tax package to be voted on by the

Democratic-controlled finance committee will somehow make up the
loss of the coupon tax revenue. Malloy has said that if state
lawmakers don’t like his tax proposals, they should come up with
alternatives to cover the difference. Williams said the committee
leaders have been meeting with Barnes on possible changes to
Malloy’s plan.

Besides the coupon tax, Williams said he expects a portion of
the local property tax credit against the personal income tax,
which Malloy’s budget scrapped, will be preserved. He said proposed
taxes affecting the boating industry, gasoline and auto sales, as
well as the overall sales tax rate, remain unresolved.

(Copyright 2011 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

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