CCM Endorses Special Commission's Full Report

By Christopher Keating, Courant.com

The Connecticut Conference of Municipalities has endorsed the full report of a special state commission that called for wide-ranging changes that include tax increases, tax decreases, and moves to help municipalities.

CCM’s 27-member board of directors endorsed the entire package of the state Commission on Fiscal Stability and Economic Growth that has generated some controversy by calling for cuts in the state income tax, an increase in the sales tax, and changes in a wide variety of areas.

CCM is particularly focused on proposals that would help the 169 cities and towns across the state. Those include allowing towns to charge fees to non-profit universities and colleges for services provided by the towns, while at the same time allowing the non-profits to keep their long-held exemptions from property taxes.

The commission also recommended allowing towns to impose local sales or other taxes, which are illegal now, if they were approved at a referendum. Various jurisdictions in New York state, for example, are allowed to impose a local sales tax — thus generating different sales tax rates in different towns near each other in places like Westchester County.

“Connecticut has long been the land of steady habits, but the precarious fiscal condition that still plagues the state budget demands that Connecticut change key core public policies — now,’’ said Joe DeLong, CCM’s executive director.