Finance panel endorses estate, hospital tax hikes

The legislature’s tax-writing committee adopted a revised plan this afternoon to boost the tax on wealthy estates, and to add a 5.5 percent levy on hospital gross revenues.

The measure adopted by the Democrat-controlled Finance, Revenue and Bonding Committee continues to exempt estates valued at less than $3.5 million.

But the bill, which now heads to the Senate, doubles or nearly doubles the rates on most estates valued in excess of $3.5 million.

Gov. M. Jodi Rell, a Republican, vetoed a Democratic bill to boost the estate tax in December.

The hospital tax is designed to raise $207 million per year. Those funds then would be returned to the hospital in the form of payments to offset the costs of treating Medicaid and uninsured patients. The back-and-forth arrangement is designed to qualify Connecticut for additional federal health care funding.