Gov. Ned Lamont unveiled his long-anticipated proposal Thursday to eliminate the business entity tax, a $250 fee nearly all Connecticut businesses pay once every two years.
The governor, who must deliver his first budget proposal to the General Assembly next Wednesday, also elaborated on his plans to digitize access to all state services.
“Over and over again, I’ve heard the same refrain – it’s not easy to do business with the state of Connecticut,” said Lamont, who pledged several times during last fall’s gubernatorial campaign to recommend repeal of the business entity tax. “How can we try to build and stabilize our economy if businesses don’t feel as though we’re listening?”
Most Connecticut businesses — more than 169,000 biennially — pay an entity tax, which raised $45 million in the 2016-17 fiscal year and $43.9 million in 2014-15, according to annual reports from the Department of Revenue Services.
Business leaders frequently refer to it as a “nuisance tax,” because it isn’t tied to profits, gross receipts, or the type of goods or services produced. It is simply a fee imposed to do business in Connecticut.
Lamont, who pledged when he took office Jan. 9 to allow residents to access all state agencies and their services via computer, also announced Thursday his budget would create a program within the Department of Administrative Services.
The new digital service will work with all agencies to create a “digital one-stop-shop for residents and businesses,” according to a statement from the governor’s office.
“These proposals will help the seventeen Fortune 500 companies headquartered in Connecticut, just as they will help the start-up company and the mom-and-pop shop down the street,” Lamont added. “This is the beginning of our work with the business community – not the end – but I hope these proposals send a powerful message to entrepreneurs, small business owners and CEOs alike: Connecticut state government wants to be your partner, not your roadblock.”