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Your CT State Government at work!

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Your CT State Government at work!

Post by mr71transam on Tue Mar 08, 2011 9:26 am

House Democratic Majority Leader Looks to Eliminate Maximum $500 Assessment on Antique Cars:
House Bill 5580 (attached) proposed establishing a standard state wide mill rate for motor vehicles and increasing the age of antique motor vehicles from 20 to 25 years. As you may recall a few years back, the age of an antique car was reduced from 25 to 20 years. At that time, the 4C’s was neutral on this change (we neither endorsed nor opposed the change). Who was behind reducing the age to 20 years back then was never apparent to us. The 4C’s decided not to oppose House Bill 5580, restoring the age of an antique vehicle back to 25 years, as it is consistent with AACA definitions and surrounding states, and we considered it a reasonable “give back” considering this year’s budget crisis. As such, the 4C’s did not attend or provide oral or written testimony at the public hearing on this bill March 2.

Carroll Hughes, our Legislative Monitor listened in on the 3/2/11 public hearing before the Planning and Development Subcommittee. Carroll reported that Representative J. Brendan Sharkey, the House Democratic Majority Leader from the 88th assembly district - Hamden, provided oral testimony on House Bill 5580 proposing to eliminate the maximum $500 property tax assessment on all antique motor vehicles, not just those between 20 and 25 years old. Since Representative Sharkey is the Democratic Majority Leader in the House, he is quite influential, and we are quite concerned that this is an indication of future adverse legislation coming.

Representative Sharkey’s Testimony 3-2-11:

Provided below is Representative Sharkey's Testimony on House Bill 5580. I retyped it from the attached .pdf file. We consider this testimony from the House Democratic Majority Leader to be a significant threat to the $500 assessment benefit:
Finally, House Bill 5580 – AAC [An Act Concerning] A Statewide Mill Rate For Motor Vehicles, a proposal that you have seen fit to raise as a committee bill, takes a huge stride in correcting a number of anachronistic aspects of our property tax system. Whereas we currently allow our towns to tax automobiles as personal property at whatever mill rate the town has adopted for real estate, this bill would phase in a standardized mill rate for motor vehicles statewide. Once fully implemented, it would eliminate the unfair burden placed on urban residents where mill rates are typically higher, and, in all likelihood, increase collections in those urban communities because there would be no incentive to register vehicles in towns with lower mill rates. Because the introduction of a standardized mill rate initially creates winners and losers among towns depending on whether their current mill rates are above or below the statewide rate, this concept has failed to gain support in the past. My proposal - and now the committee’s – would be phase in the rate over five years, and compensate those “losing” towns on a declining basis during the phase-in.

The funds to compensate those losing towns over the phase-in period would be generated by a wholesale change in the way we currently tax “antique” vehicles in our state. Our current system allows anyone with a car older than twenty years to receive an assessment of $500, regardless of the car’s actual worth. That means that the owner of a classic vehicle worth tens of thousands of dollars is assessed at the same rate as someone with a car worth $500. And while we used to apply severe restrictions on how many miles the car with an “antique” designation could be driven in a year, we have long since abandoned those standards so that anyone with an older, expensive car can literally drive away with a huge tax break at the expense of the rest of the taxpaying public. We’re still waiting for OFA [Office of Fiscal Analysis] to cost out the revenue to be collected from this basic change, but I am confident it will provide sufficient revenue to create the phase-in compensation fund while also closing a loophole that has cost our towns and cities major revenue over the years.

What We are Doing About This:
Based on the recommendation of our legislative monitor, we are taking prompt action to attempt to stop this. We are setting up three groups of hobbyists from key legislators districts to meet and provide our position as to why the maximum $500 assessment is fair. Hopefully, these meetings will convince the legislators not to introduce a bill eliminating the maximum $500 assessment. We a putting a group of hobbyists from Hamden together to meet with Representative Sharkey.. We also assembling groups from Senator Steve Cassano's District (Manchester, Bolton, Glastonbury, and Marborough) and Senator Len Fasano from (Wallingford, North Haven, East Haven). Senator Cassano is Co-Chair of the Planning and Development Committee. Senator Fasano is the Ranking Republican on that committee. We want to meet with these two Senators and express our concerns with Representative Sharkey’s testimony.

What We Want You to Do About This:
At this point, all we are looking for is for you to be aware of this potential issue (unless, of course, you are from one of the three groups meeting with the legislators mentioned in the previous paragraph). In other words, this E-mail is a “heads up”. Since only Representative Sharkey’s testimony is out there and no legislation has been introduced eliminating the maximum $500 assessment, we are recommending you take NO action at this time.

In case our efforts are unsuccessful, and actual legislation is proposed eliminating the $500 maximum assessment you will be notified of actions we recommend you take. In preparation for that possibility, I have included the current statute on the maximum $500 assessment. I have also updated the talking points on why the assessment is fair:

Section 12-71(b) of the Current Statutes States:
(b) Except as otherwise provided by the general statutes, property subject to this section shall be valued at the same percentage of its then actual valuation as the assessors have determined with respect to the listing of real estate for the same year, except that any antique, rare or special interest motor vehicle, as defined in section 14-1, as amended by this act, shall be assessed at a value of not more than five hundred dollars. The owner of such antique, rare or special interest motor vehicle may be required by the assessors to provide reasonable documentation that such motor vehicle is an antique, rare or special interest motor vehicle, provided any motor vehicle for which special number plates have been issued pursuant to section 14-20, as amended by this act, shall not be required to provide any such documentation. The provisions of this section shall not include money or property actually invested in merchandise or manufacturing carried on out of this state or machinery or equipment which would be eligible for exemption under subdivision (72) of section 12-81 once installed and which cannot begin or which has not begun manufacturing, processing or fabricating; or which is being used for research and development, including experimental or laboratory research and development, design or engineering directly related to manufacturing or being used for the significant servicing, overhauling or rebuilding of machinery and equipment for industrial use or the significant overhauling or rebuilding of other products on a factory basis or being used for measuring or testing or metal finishing or in the production of motion pictures, video and sound recordings.

Talking Points: Why the $500 Tax Assessment is Appropriate:

The current provision of a maximum $500 assessment for antique vehicles is appropriate.

- The vast majority of the automobile hobbyists in this state have other motor vehicles they use as primary transportation that are subject to the same property taxes as everyone else in the state. Because of this, the automobile hobbyists are already paying their fair share of property taxes on motor vehicles.

- Unlike many other hobbies, the automobile hobby requires us to register our collector motor vehicles, which puts them on a list, making them visible to the local property tax assessors in cities and towns. Hobbyists that collect artwork, furniture, stamps, coins, or rare books cannot be easily tracked identified by these same local property tax assessors. Elimination of the $500 maximum assessment would unfairly put the automobile hobbyists in a situation where the tax burden associated with their hobby would be excessive, as compared to other hobbies. (Elimination of the $500 property tax assessment would increase the grand list of a municipality, slightly lowering the overall mil rate, but unfairly shifting the burden to the automotive hobbyist. This is the wrong way for a municipality to grow the grand list. It is not the same as attracting new businesses and industries to a municipality.)

- Unfairly shifting the property tax burden to the automotive hobbyists will adversely impact the hobby. The vast majority of automotive hobbyists are low to middle income taxpayers with limited resources. Shifting the tax burden to the hobbyist will result in taxpayers on limited incomes from having to resort to selling there hobby car(s).

- Considering the benefits the automobile hobbyist provides to the community that many other hobbies don’t provide provides additional justification for why it is unfair to shift the tax burden to the automotive hobbyist: There are several car shows each weekend in the state throughout the late spring, summer, and early fall. These car shows typically benefit local charities and organizations. These shows result in significant revenues to these charities and organizations. These shows and cruise nights also result in increased spending at restaurants and local business throughout the state, indirectly helping increase state revenues. Also, the use of their collector vehicles in local parades and other town functions throughout the state provide a positive benefit to the community thanks to the automotive hobbyist.

- The state has made significant investments in attracting the movie industry to Connecticut. Having a large population of antique cars available to support this industry is helpful. Elimination of the $500 assessment will adversely affect this population.

- Antique motor vehicles are driven very limited miles each year. The vast majority of antique cars are stored and not driven for during the winter months. While the statutes have eliminated restrictions on antiques vehicle use many years ago, antique automotive insurance policies requires limited vehicle use. Typically, an antique cars usage is limited to travel to automotive shows and cruises, town events, and occasional pleasure use.

- Coming up with a fair standard to assess the value of antique cars will be a significant burden to the assessor. Condition, desirability, and the extent of modifications to an antique car are large factors in the value of that vehicle. Because of this creating a standard value to an antique vehicle is extremely difficult. The burden to the assessor to come with a fair market value for these cars will likely not justify the modest increase in the grand list (and the unfair shifting of the tax burden to the hobbyist).


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Re: Your CT State Government at work!

Post by 69_RAG_TOP on Tue Mar 08, 2011 11:37 pm

Twenty years of failed policies and bad state budget management.
Now the State Democratic Majority Leader Senator Martin Looney wants to go after the Classic Car hobbyists.

All the conservatives are going to blame Gov Malloy who just got into this mess. All the liberals are going to blame Rowland and Rell, as well as George Bush and Dick Cheney.

So who is responsible for this mess?

Look at who has been in the Connecticut General Assembly and the State House for the last 10 years or more voting for more uncontrolled funding.

For the record these elected officials all have an impact on the state budget.

Speaker of the House Chris Donovan (Dem), Senator Edith Prague (Dem), Senator Martin Looney (Dem), House Majority Leader Brendan Sharkey (Dem), House Chair Health Care Betsy Ritter (Dem), George Jepsen (Dem), Kevin Lembo (Dem), Denise Napier (Dem), Denise Merril (Dem), Nancy Wyman (Dem), etc.

I believe that the annual salary of members of the Connecticut state house is $28000 plus $4500 for expenses.

They should all forfeit their salaries until this budget is balance without additional taxes.


Connecticut is the New California.
Keep raising taxes and driving the state to bankruptcy.

THIS IS YOUR NEW CONNECTICUT STATE INCOME TAX
3.0 PERCENT: Couples with incomes up to $20,000
5.0 PERCENT: Incomes from $20,000 to $100,000
5.5 PERCENT: Incomes from $100,000 to $200,000
5.75 PERCENT: Incomes of $200,000 to $400,000
6.0 PERCENT: Incomes of $400,000 to $600,000
6.25 PERCENT: Incomes from $600,000 to $800,000
6.5 PERCENT: Incomes from $800,000 to $1 million
6.7 PERCENT: Incomes over $1 million

States with the highest sales tax are: California 8.25%, Indiana, Mississippi, New Jersey, Rhode Island, Tennessee, Minnesota 6.875%, Nevada 6.85%, Arizona 6.6%, Washington 6.5%, Kansas, Texas 6.3%, Illinois 6.25% and Connecticut 6.0%.

New York City is the most expensive place to buy cigarettes $5.85, when you include the state and local tax. The top 12 states with the highest state tax on cigarettes are: New York $4.35, Rhode Island $3.46, Washington $3.025, Connecticut $3.00, New Jersey $2.70, Wisconsin $2.52, Massachusetts $2.51, District of Columbia $2.50, and Vermont $2.24.
Current Connecticut Sales Taxes
State Sales Tax: 6.0% (food, prescription & non-prescription drugs exempt).
Gasoline Tax: 41.8 cents/gallon
Diesel Fuel Tax: 39.6 cents/gallon
Cigarette Tax: $3.00/pack of 20.

Connecticut is still in a very bad recession. Connecticut has very high unemployment and more small businesses are closing daily. Pfizer has announced an additional 1,100 employees eliminated with jobs being sent to Cambridge Massachusetts. Raising the sales tax during a bad recession is bad economic policy. States such as Alaska, Delaware, Montana, New Hampshire and Oregon have no sales taxes. Car dealerships have all reported very poor automobile sales. If you buy a new or used car that costs $20,000 the new sales tax will now be $1270.00 in Connecticut.

Connecticut is $3,200,000,000 in debt.
Wake up and see reality. The state of Connecticut is broke. No new taxes. Cut spending.
If your household spends more money than it takes in, do you reduce your spending or find ways to take in more money? Most of the states got it right in November, but not Connecticut. Raising taxes during an economic recession is political suicide.

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