Connecticut is facing unprecedented state budget deficits, yet has not comprehensively reviewed its revenue structure in 20 years. In the last two decades, legislators have made hundreds of changes to the state’s tax code, including more than 50 changes to the personal income tax, 230 to the sales and use tax, and 140 to the corporation business tax.
In situations similar to the fiscal crises Connecticut now faces, many other states have chosen to convene commissions to study their revenue streams. These states have recognized that the first step to a solution will be to understand exactly how their present revenue systems are broken. More than two dozen states have convened revenue study commissions in the past decade. Their experiences can inform Connecticut’s decisions.
The Revenue Accountability Commission bill (H.B. 5534) represents many of the best practices evident in other states’ commissions and is responsive to the needs of Connecticut. The bill calls for a diverse set of stakeholders to study the state’s revenue structure. A few simple modifications to this bill would include more best practices and enable the Commission to craft more meaningful recommendations.