Senator Haskell Supports State Budget with Half a Billion Dollars in Tax Cuts, Investments in Child Care, Mental Health


HARTFORD – Senator Haskell today supported a bipartisan budget that provides a half-billion dollars in tax savings to Connecticut residents. The $24.2 billion budget also invests hundreds of millions of other dollars in new childcare, mental health, job creation and education. The bill now heads to Governor Ned Lamont for his signature.

"This budget is an historic investment in the people of Connecticut," State Senator Will Haskell (D-Westport). "In fact, it's an investment in every generation of Connecticut residents. From a new child tax credit that will give 600,000 families a helping hand to an elimination of taxes on pension and social security income, this budget will put more money back into the pockets of my constituents. Remember how the owner of a Subaru in Bridgeport has to pay hundreds more in taxes than the owner of a Subaru in Weston? That's wrong, and this budget fixes that by capping the property tax on motor vehicles at a 32.46 mill rate. Bipartisan work resulted in $3 million to help senior citizens access adult day programs and Meals on Wheels. Plus $8 million will be spent to make sure kids have access to summer camps. After we enacted free community college in 2019, this year we voted to expand it for part-time students as well as full-time students. Plus, my constituents regularly reach out about the high cost of childcare. We know the industry is drastically underfunded, yet critically important to all families. I’m so glad we’re committing $85 million to support wage increases and improved facilities. I could go on, but suffice to say that I'm so proud to vote in favor of this budget."

The budget includes historic tax cuts for Connecticut's citizens as well as major new investments in some of the human needs that were highlighted by the past two years of the deadly and disruptive COVID-19 pandemic.

The Democratic budget remains below the spending cap, keeps our Rainy Day Fund filled at $3.1 billion, and makes a massive, unprecedented $3.5 billion payment toward Connecticut's 70 years of built-up pension debt. Every school district will receive greater state support to fund special education services -- ensuring schools can continue to provide a high-quality education for all students without making cuts to other critical programs.

Some of the $600 million in tax cuts that will help Connecticut residents include:

  • Continuation of the bus fare holiday through the same date, saving riders a further $8.1 million.
  • Creates a new $250-per-child credit against the state income tax for low- and middle-income households, up to a maximum of $750, for single filers with earnings less than $100,000 per year and couples making less than $200,000. This saves Connecticut families $125 million.
  • A cap on the tax rate charged by cities and towns on motor vehicles will reduce car taxes by $100 million for residents in about 45% of Connecticut towns, including three towns in the 26th Senate District.
  • Increase the property tax credit exemption from $200 to $300, saving Connecticut families $60 million per year this year and into the future.
  • Increasing the state Earned Income Tax Credit, a program created by former President Ronald Reagan and used by 186,000 Connecticut residents living in every town in the state. The increased tax deduction will save Connecticut families $49 million a year.
  • Accelerating the phase-out of taxes of certain pension and annuity income, saving Connecticut residents nearly $43 million.
  • The budget even eliminates the tax on movie theatre tickets, saving movie-goers $2.5 million this year.

On the spending side, the legislature voted to make major investments in the health and happiness of Connecticut residents, helping to improve mental health for children, supporting survivors of domestic violence and reduce the cost of childcare. Critically, the budget expands the PACT program, which Senator Haskell helped to create in 2019, ensuring that part-time students can participate in Connecticut's free community college program.

Some of the hundreds of millions of new dollars that Democrats are spending on Connecticut residents include:

  • $10 million for mental health services at School-Based Health Centers
  • $30 million for increased 24/7 mobile crisis services
  • $72 million for increasing pay at critical non-profits
  • $23 million for personal care attendants
  • $70 million for childcare industry wage enhancements
  • $15 million to renovate and construct early childhood facilities
  • $2.5 million to combat gun violence
  • $2.8 million for survivors of domestic violence
  • $50 million for affordable housing
  • $75 million to update school air conditioning and heating systems
  • $8 million to increase access to town-run summer camps
  • $15 million for magnet schools
  • $3 million for senior citizens' adult day programs and Meals on Wheels
  • $4 million for Alzheimer’s respite care programs

To view more details and analysis of the budget, please visit: https://cga.ct.gov/asp/cgabillstatus/cgabillstatus.asp?selBillType=Bill&which_year=2022&bill_num=5506