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Candelora: Taxing Discounts and Coupons Is A Dangerous Proposal

State Representative Vincent Candelora, who represents North Branford in the 86th General Assembly District, questions the proposed sales tax in Gov. Malloy's budget.

Editor's note: The following press release is courtesy of State Representative Vincent Candelora's office.

I believe this budget session is going to be less about party politics and more about courage.  Namely, which legislators will have the courage to stand up to the Governor’s budget proposal and make changes to the tax and spend policies.  I’ve attended several events where the Governor or his staff have said that the legislature should pass this budget because, while not perfect, it is as good as it gets.  The Governor has remarked that we should be careful about which direction we push him.  Other legislators have remarked that we should just pass the Governor’s budget because if we change it too much, it becomes the legislature’s budget, rather than the Governor’s.  It seems that while different people and parties are holding new offices, the rules of the game haven’t changed.  The budget undoubtedly is the hot potato, and we could use some oven mitts.

I’m deeply concerned about many of the Governor’s proposals.  $4 billion in new taxes is too much.  Families and seniors are struggling.  I see it, I hear it, and I feel it every day.  I know you can’t afford to pay $1,500 in new taxes annually, and that is why I cannot support this budget.  It is unjustifiable. 

I am amazed at the Governor’s proposal to impose a sales tax on “discounts and coupons”.  I cannot even fathom who conjured up this proposal, and how anyone thought it was a good enough idea to incorporate into a budget.  As if taxes are not bad enough, the state would now begin telling businesses how much they should be valuing their products for the purpose of collecting a tax. This would be an unprecedented intrusion into capitalism.  As a business owner myself who has to collect sales taxes, I can tell you it’s one of the most confusing and tedious piece of our tax structure.  The laws are vague, and the Connecticut Department of Revenue Services doesn’t always consistently apply the law. 

If this proposal stands, it will become the most obstructive, anti-job law for Connecticut.  With the elimination of the clothing tax exemption, you may be paying more in taxes than the clothing itself.  Last week, while at Macy’s, I bought a suit marked down from $450 to $25.  Under the new proposal, my taxes would be $28.58.  Imagine a 6.35% sales tax could someone become 115% of the purchase price merely because of a discount.  The term, “MSRP” (Manufacturer’s Suggested Retail Price) will quickly become a dirty word in stores, and yes, you’ll be paying taxes on scratch and dent items as if those scratches and dents never existed.

I don’t believe that the Governor’s budget is the best we are going to get, and I also don’t believe that the legislature can avoid criticism by hiding behind the Governor and blaming him for these bad tax proposals.  Proposals, such as a tax on coupons and discounts, just can’t survive.  The legislature must stand up to these proposals.  We have to do better.  

-State Representative Vincent J. Candelora

Rick Trench March 09, 2011 at 02:12 PM
Maybe your "new" used car would be taxed at the Blue Book price, instead of taking into account the discounts you received for the nick and scratches, or the nearly worn out tires, or the high mileage? The more things change - the more they stay the same (or get worse).
ejota March 09, 2011 at 03:24 PM
While I understand Rep Candelora's criticisms of Gov Malloy's proposal, what alternatives will he offer up to achieve a balanced budget?? It seems politicians these days are quite quick to criticize proposed solutions; to just say 'NO', as opposed to working together to create solutions.
stacyore March 10, 2011 at 04:59 AM
Thank you very much! Here is my 2 cents, I just printed Coupons for free. You can print coupons before you shop by searching "Printapons" online

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