Gov. Dannel P. Malloy will ask legislators this year to establish electronic tolling on Connecticut highways by mid-2022 and to phase in a seven-cent gasoline tax hike to not only avert insolvency in the transportation program but also fund a major, 30-year rebuilding initiative.

Malloy, who announced his plans Wednesday, will propose the final budget adjustments of his administration next week to the General Assembly.

The governor, who declared last year he would not seek a third term, said these revenues would rescue not only an aging, clogged network but also an economy handicapped by an inadequate transportation infrastructure.

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klaridesHouse Minority Leader Themis Klarides, R-Derby, ended months of speculation about her political ambitions Wednesday, telling her caucus she would forgo a run for governor in 2018 and focus on trying to win a GOP majority in the House.

“As you know, this has been a tortuous decision,” said Klarides, who leads a caucus that has grown over four two-year election cycles from 37 to 72, just four shy of a majority. “We’ve made great strides.”

 

vermontMONTPELIER, VT:  The Green Mountain State is hoping to get a little greener as the first state to legalize possession and cultivation of marijuana legislatively.

Currently there are eight states and the District of Columbia that are defying the Federal government’s prohibitions on legal Marijuana or what the industry now prefers to refer to as Cannabis.

Vermont’s  Governor. Phil Scott signed the bill [H511] that makes marijuana legal for adults in Vermont. The bill eliminates the civil  penalties for possession of up to ounce of Marijuana and to posses two mature marijuana plants and up to four immature plants for adults [21 or over], effective July 1.

WashingtonMeghan Freed, who practices family law in Hartford, said the massive tax overhaul surprised divorce attorneys and their clients by scrapping a 75-year-old tax deduction for alimony payments.

Ending the deductibility of alimony payments was proposed in the House tax bill, but not in the Senate’s version, so attorneys had to wait until a final bill was negotiated to determine what would happen to this deduction, which figures prominently in divorce negotiations.

So, for weeks before the end of the year, Freed said divorce attorneys were unsure of how to advise their clients on the fate of the alimony deduction, “which is a way to take the sting” out of those payments.

Washington – With the clock ticking toward a government shutdown, the U.S. House and Senate on Thursday approved a short-term spending bill that may give temporary relief to thousands of Connecticut families who have been notified that health coverage for their children will soon end.

In a largely partisan vote, the House voted 231-188 for a continuing resolution, or CR, that would fund most federal agencies at last year’s levels until Jan. 19. It also would provide about $5 billion to bolster the nation’s missile defense programs and repair the U.S.S. John S. McCain and the U.S.S. Fitzgerald, which were damaged in collisions last summer.

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Andrew Lattimer, a certified public accountant and partner at BlumShapiro.

 

As a historic overhaul of the nation’s tax code nears the finish line, Connecticut taxpayers have deluged their accountants with questions over its impact on their households or businesses.

“As a tax practitioner I’m kind of excited to see this happen, but at the same point there’s a lot of anxiety out there as well,” said Andrew Lattimer, a certified public accountant and tax specialist at the West Hartford office of BlumShapiro.

There hasn’t been such an ambitious attempt to change the federal tax system since 1986, when former President Ronald Reagan cut taxes to promote corporate growth and shrink the size of government. That “supply side” economic theory resulted in huge deficits.

Reaganomics has been revived in the new tax plan. It’s GOP authors (no Democrat on Capitol Hill supports the plan) say cutting corporate taxes will stimulate growth and bring back jobs that were lost as American companies decided they would pay lower taxes if they located their business overseas.

The 560-page tax plan lowers the corporate tax rate, now as high as 35 percent, to 21 percent. It also lowers individual rates and increases the child tax credit. But the $4,050 exemption every member of a family can claim will be gone.