A Balanced Approach to Revenues: Ensuring Fairness and Adequacy

Back • Publication Date: April 24th, 2019

Authors: Jamie L. Mills, J.D.

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As the General Assembly develops its biennial budget facing a $4 billion deficit, Connecticut Voices for Children urges legislators and the Governor to adopt a balanced approach by adopting revenue streams that enhance the fairness of our tax system while providing the adequate funds to sustain us today and to invest for tomorrow. Budget cuts often fall most heavily on our children and low income families — those least able to bear them — while our current revenue system asks the least from those who are best able to pay a bit more.

In this report, we propose revenue options that can be used as substitutes or additions to the revenues in the Governor’s budget, with the twin goals of assuring adequate revenues to support the programs and services vital to the well-being of our children and families and enhancing the fairness of our tax system.

These five revenue options are:

  1. Increase the top two rates of the personal income tax by one percentage point.
  2. Adopt a capital gains and qualified dividends tax on the top two income tax brackets of 8.5% and 10.75%.
  3. Broaden the base of the sales tax, but only if paired with a progressive tax.
  4. Preserve the estate tax and make it more progressive.
  5. Return to the legislature the authority to make taxing and spending decisions.