While Connecticut leaders will soon be looking to balance the state's budget, a group advocating for children says cutting cannot be the only option.
Connecticut Voices for Children said they understand the daunting budget situation Connecticut leaders are facing, but argues the state needs a balanced approach, not just cutting but also adding revenue, which comes in the form of taxes.
"Last year, lawmaker cut approximately $850 million from the budget. It was a cuts-only approach and we just don't feel its sustainable moving forward to cut $3 billion without having a balanced approach with some revenue included,” said Derek Thomas, of Connecticut Voices for Children.
While state leaders have stressed new taxes is not something they're interested in, Connecticut Voices for Children says the state could raise a lot of money by modernizing what it calls an outdated sales tax system, taxing services from car washes, haircuts, pet grooming, interior decorating, to even bowling alleys and limousine services.
"We could actually lower the sales tax rate by a half of percentage point and still raise approximately $1 billion,” Thomas said.
Other options include strengthening corporate taxes, along with raising the income tax rate a half percent on the top two groups, and even a tax on sugary beverages.
"We listed that in our revenue options as an option to fund potentially early childhood education or efforts for childhood obesity,” Thomas said.
"I have no problem paying a little extra tax because I have a handicapped son and I appreciate the fact that he could get services,” said Niolle Nichols.
But some, like Mase Edmond, wonder if that tax will work.
"I don't think it would help that much, because honestly, people would stop buying because who wants to pay more for stuff,” Edmond said.
Next week, the Connecticut Voices for Children will hold a budget forum at the state capitol.
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