On behalf of the National Taxpayers Union's more than 4,600 Connecticut members, I urge you to oppose HB 5255. This bill carries a dangerous potential for higher property taxes, especially on broadband service equipment. Instead of weighing down with predatory taxes a sector that is key to the state's future prosperity, policymakers should consider spending restraint and systemic tax reforms to address current fiscal challenges.
HB 5255 would raise property taxes on broadband service equipment, which is already subject to the highest property tax rate in Connecticut. Broadband providers would simply pass along the cost of this tax increase to their customers, who would in turn see higher prices for cable television, telephone service, and high-speed Internet service. Increasing taxes on struggling businesses and raising prices for consumers makes no economic sense.
Connecticut residents already live under one of the highest state and local tax burdens in the nation. Meanwhile, the state's total expenditures have grown by more than $3 billion over the last three years. This largesse could have closed the $371 million projected gap for the next fiscal year eight times over. The state must end its dependence upon the unhealthy prescription of higher taxes and government spending. Instead, targeted budget cuts are necessary to restore government to its proper, sustainable size, while taxes should be reformed and reduced to provide relief to overburdened Connecticut taxpayers and spur economic growth.
Please stand up for our members and other residents of Connecticut by standing against HB 5255. The people of your state are looking to you now for a break from the government's fiscally reckless past.
State Government Affairs Manager
National Taxpayers Union