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McKinney seeks to eliminate income tax for middle class

Published July 31. 2014 12:11PM   Updated July 31. 2014 12:12PM

Stratford — Republican gubernatorial candidate, state Senate Minority Leader John McKinney of Fairfield announced a plan to eliminate state income taxes for income tax filers who earn under $75,000 in fiscal year 2016-2017. This would reduce state revenues by $746 million in fiscal year 2016-2017, he said.

“We are protecting the middle class and taxpayers across the state because as every family and small business owner knows during the last five to six years of tough economic times you can’t spend more money than you make and you can’t borrow more than you are willing to pay back,” McKinney said.

The income tax elimination would also apply to retirees whose social security or pensions are less than $75,000. Joint filers who made more than $75,000 could file separately in order to benefit from the tax elimination. For instance, joint filers who made $100,000 annually could file separately at $50,000 each.

In order to reach the savings needed to offer the tax cut, McKinney said he would reduce the size of non-union management in state departments, restructure employee health benefits and pension costs and eliminate the Earned Income Tax Credit for the working poor. McKinney said he would maintain certain statutory and collective bargaining increases such as those for debt service, Payment in Lieu of Taxes programs and the Education Cost Sharing grant program.

Opponent gubernatorial candidate Tom Foley said in a press release that McKinney’s tax elimination plan was too narrow.

“Senator McKinney’s narrowly focused income tax reduction won’t provide relief taxpayers and the boost to the economy that broader based tax reduction will.”

Foley has said he would cut Connecticut’s 6.35 percent sales tax rate by one-half of one percentage point.

McKinney said that his critics have not provided their own proposals for how they would make tax cuts and balance the state’s budget. Foley’s plan would be a “blank piece of paper,” McKinney said.

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