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.

Keith has spent most of his 31 years as a reporter specializing in state government finances, analyzing such topics as income tax equity, waste in government and the complex funding systems behind Connecticut’s transportation and social services networks. He has been the state finances reporter at CT Mirror since it launched in 2010. Prior to joining CT Mirror Keith was State Capitol bureau chief for The Journal Inquirer of Manchester, a reporter for the Day of New London, and a former contributing writer to The New York Times. Keith is a graduate of and a former journalism instructor at the University of Connecticut.

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