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Conn. Budget Revised As Vote Deadline Approaches

Connecticut State Capitol in Hartford (file/Used with permission of the Connecticut General Assembly and the League of Women Voters of Connecticut Education Fund, Inc.)

Connecticut State Capitol in Hartford (file/Used with permission of the Connecticut General Assembly and the League of Women Voters of Connecticut Education Fund, Inc.)

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HARTFORD, Conn. (CBSNewYork/AP) – Some tax breaks that were initially planned for Connecticut residents have been stricken from the budget.

As WCBS 880’s Paul Murnane reported, a $450 million plunge in the projected surplus led to Gov. Dannel Malloy canceling plans for tax rebates.

Tax breaks for some retired teachers and for clothing purchases under $50 are delayed until later in the fiscal year.

Bridgeport Mayor Bill Finch, who is also President of the Connecticut Conference of Municipalities, said he is pleased there is funding for more than 1,000 pre-kindergarten seats.

“You can either get kids up to speed so they can do better in school and eventually get these jobs of the 21st century and be qualified for them or we can support them through life because they’re unproductive citizens,” Finch told Murnane.

The House of Representatives was expected to vote Saturday on the deal reached by the General Assembly’s majority Democrats and Democratic Gov. Malloy last week. It’s unclear when the Senate will vote on the $19 billion budget bill.

Minority Republicans learned about the last-minute addition of $75 million in projected revenue after asking about why “miscellaneous tax” revenues in a budget document jumped from $20.2 million to $95.2 million.

Benjamin Barnes, Malloy’s budget chief, said the Department of Revenue Services learned from last year’s tax amnesty program there’s an opportunity to collect more unpaid taxes by using new tools, such as data-mining techniques.

Some Republicans have called that tax amnesty effort a gimmick, Murnane reported.

Lawmakers have until the current legislative session ends Wednesday to work out solution.

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