Employer community, hit hard by pandemic, decries new small business tax
HARTFORD, Conn. – Local businesses and workers called on state elected officials today to halt a proposed tax increase included in legislation before the General Assembly, SB 842, as well as in HB 6447, Governor Ned Lamont’s 2022-2023 proposed budget. The new tax would raise health care costs for small businesses, their employees, and working-class families who need their coverage in the middle of the pandemic. Asking small business owners to pay more for their health care is a step in the wrong direction.
“The COVID-19 pandemic has already been devastating to working-class families across Connecticut,” said Johnny Garcia, owner of All Seasons Cleaning Service in West Haven. “The state legislature and Governor Lamont should not add to their financial strain by increasing the costs of the coverage people desperately need in this public health crisis.”
The proposed tax increase would target small business and family health insurance. While the exact impact of the tax increase is not yet known, it is modeled after a federal health insurance tax that was repealed with overwhelming support from Democrats and Republicans in Congress in 2019.
Local opponents are concerned the tax will actually increase costs for working-class individuals, families, and small businesses, potentially jeopardizing their affordability of and access to health insurance coverage. Additionally, with less money to invest, Connecticut employers are concerned the tax will add to the economic toll caused by the pandemic, making it even harder to keep their doors open, re-hire employees, grow their business, and support the economic recovery.
“Connecticut wants to get back to work, and job creators in Connecticut are struggling in an already difficult business environment,” said Tim Adams, owner of J. Timothy’s Taverne in Plainville. “The addition of another tax will only make things worse for those trying to recover, especially for small businesses.”
This new tax on the health care costs of small business and families would add-on to the hundreds of dollars local employers and workers are already paying through other insurance taxes that contribute to state funded programs. Governor Lamont included the new tax as part of HB 6447, which was voted out of the General Assembly’s Committee on Insurance & Real Estate just yesterday. In addition, the tax was included in legislation, SB 842, that was also voted out of the General Assembly’s Committee on Insurance & Real Estate.
The Stop The HIT Coalition represents the nation’s small business owners, their employees and the self-employed who worked to repeal the Health Insurance Tax. Since the Coalition’s formation in 2011, it has grown to include more than 35 national organizations, representing millions of small business owners across the country. For more information, please visit www.stopthehit.com/connecticut