Fred Camillo op-ed: Connecticut’s ‘Taxman’
“Should five per cent appear too small
Be thankful I don’t take it all
’Cause I’m the taxman, yeah I’m the taxman”
While John, Paul, George and Ringo were singing about British Prime Minister Edward Heath in their anti-tax anthem of the 1960s, another familiar, more recent, and all-too-familiar name comes to mind when this song plays these days in the Nutmeg State.
Once again, the Malloy Administration, faced with the failures of past tax increases, is looking to businesses to pay even more in his most recent budget deficit proposal, an occurrence so common it would be funny if not so sad. Businesses and private citizens that rely on motor vehicles take a hit through a seven-cent increase on the gas tax, a $3 tire fee, and a specter of tolls every few miles looming on the horizon.
Businesses take a hit by being asked to support an employment tax through the unemployment administration.
Even the privatization of group homes, a positive step, can only save so much as the SEBAC agreement that passed along party lines prohibits termination of any employees for several more years.
Public safety takes a hit, too, as the school bus safety belt account will once again see money earmarked for this purpose being diverted to the General Fund. As an advocate who worked on establishing this fund in the past, as well as having recently, and successfully, lobbied the Town of Greenwich to equip buses with these safety belts, I believe this is a big mistake. Public health and public safety are two of the pillars of good government.
Lastly, a Republican concept that passed into law last year, designed to jump-start our faltering cities by providing incentives to clean up Brownsfield properties and enable them to get back on tax rolls, will be scrapped. This is a blow to the environment, business and, yes, labor interests.
While not surprised, I am nonetheless more determined than ever to work against continuous failing policies that are driving citizens out of our state at an alarming rate. Additionally, I will be working for reforms like the ones Connecticut Republicans were able to get into the budget last year. These reforms will pay dividends as our beautiful state tries to rebrand itself as a place once again known as a destination, rather than the place many are destined to leave.
State Rep. Fred Camillo is a Republican representing Greenwich’s District 151.