Lamont proposes new budget, accounting for mental health and gas tax relief

Outside+of+Green+Fuel%2C+West+Haven%2C+May+1%2C+2022.

Photo courtesy of Mia Adduci.

Outside of Green Fuel, West Haven, May 1, 2022.

Samuel Weinmann, Politics Editor

This month, multiple pieces of legislation have been brought forth regarding tax cuts in Connecticut, primarily related to rising gas prices. The U.S. has recently imposed sanctions on Russia, as well as general financial strains that the COVID-19 pandemic has put on Connecticut citizens.

Last week, Gov. Ned Lamont and other state officials agreed on a new state budget that focuses on tax cuts and other allocations of funds to help families in the state.

The budget amounts to $24 billion, with nearly $600 million being used to alleviate tax burdens. The deal that was agreed upon will affect millions of Connecticut residents, and will address mental health programs, gas taxes and various tax credit programs.

The bill also proposes funding for mental health programs for children and early childhood. One of the reasons why this was incorporated into the bill is because these programs “have struggled to pay workers competitive wages while ensuring services are affordable to families,” according to NBC Connecticut.

A child tax credit is also accounted for in the proposed bill, which would incorporate a $250 credit per child for one year. This would be capped at three children under the age of 17.

Additionally, Lamont has proposed an increase in the current property tax credit in Connecticut from $200 to $300, as well as expand current eligibility for the program. Currently, only those who are 65 or older, 50 and acting as a surviving spouse, or with certain disabilities are eligible for the property tax credit program.

Addressing the rising tax prices, the bill proposes that the current gas tax holiday put in place by Lamont will be extended until Dec. 1. This will ensure that Connecticut residents won’t have to pay the 25-cent-per gallon tax throughout the year.

This bill––if passed––would have a profound influence on a variety of populations, especially undergraduate and graduate college students at the University of New Haven. Many students at the university either commute or use a car to get to their jobs and other daily commitments. Continuing the gas tax holiday would save students money as gas prices in Connecticut continue to rise.

Additionally, the child tax credit program could alleviate financial strain on students at the university with children.

If approved, the bill is currently set to take effect on July 1.