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Taxation Seeks Representation in Weston

It's going to take more than higher taxes to scare longtime Westonite Robert Turner. After hearing the news that Gov. Dannel Malloy had proposed a number of tax increases and repeals on tax breaks, Turner said it's about time that Connecticut reads between the lines.

"We're spoiled as a nation," Turner said. "We want lower taxes and bigger expenses. ... He's got to raise taxes." Turner added that people have grown accustomed to a lifestyle of consumption and called Malloy's proposed tax hike a moment of truth. "We're living way beyond our means," he said.

But Steve Chrystone sees Malloy's plan through a different lens. "It's just another reason for people to leave the state," he said. When he first moved to Connecticut 20 years ago, there was no state income tax. Now Chrystone looks to head south.

However, even if the sales tax rises from 6 percent to 6.25 percent, Connecticut would still have a lower rate than surrounding states. The governor's proposal isn't all doom and gloom for taxpayers – it includes $2 billion in concessions from state employees, an elimination of 30 percent of state agencies and a state wage freeze that could save the state $300 million. He also suggested an incentive for the first five companies that bring 200 or more jobs to the state.

First Selectman Gayle Weinstein noted that Malloy's tax hikes should be no surprise. "Gov. Malloy has always said that there would need to be some sort of tax increases to balance the budget and cover the whopping deficit," Weinstein stated in an email. "I am incredibly happy that he is proposing level funding to municipalities."

During the past few years, the state dug itself into a $3.2 billion cash hole that officials are now hoping to fill up with sound fiscal strategy.

"Right now, we're in pretty tough shape," Malloy said in his budget address to the General Assembly. "The people of Connecticut are good, decent, hard-working people. ... I believe they are willing to make sacrifices, if they understand why they're being asked to do so, and if they believe that Connecticut is serious about fixing what's broken."

Turner is ready to make his sacrifice but only if the state spends its money responsibly. "A tax system should be absolutely simple," he said. "Americans will spend an extraordinary amount of money on taxes if our money is well spent. ... Our money is not well spent at all."

Tell us your thoughts on Gov. Malloy's plan to balance the state budget.

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