Connecticut governor says there's support to scrap computer tax hike, 'real cuts' still needed

Gov. Dannel P. Malloy said Wednesday there is ample support in the General Assembly to roll back one of the most contentious business taxes in the Democratic state budget.

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Malloy, a Democrat, said he believes there are enough lawmakers who agree with scrapping a provision that would increase the current 1 percent tax on data processing to 3 percent. He assured reporters "the data tax will be taken care of."

He has proposed scaling back $224 million of the $1.5 billion in tax increases in the two-year, $40.3 billion budget that narrowly passed the General Assembly on June 3. He requested additional budget-cutting authority to cover the difference, but Democratic leaders are concerned about the impact of additional spending cuts on human services and other programs. Lawmakers have said they're working with Malloy's administration to come up with a plan to make 11th-hour changes to the budget.

Senate President Martin Looney, D-New Haven, recently suggested "alternative revenues" are required to cover the gap. He did not elaborate.

Malloy appeared unenthusiastic about the prospect of replacing some tax increases with other tax increases.

"There's got to be real cuts, real changes and real tax changes," said Malloy, later adding, "I don't think it's about additional revenue. It's about changes."

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The General Assembly is expected to meet in a special legislative session, possibly June 29 and 30, to vote on bills that spell out details of the budget and other unfinished legislation. Any changes to the budget and taxes likely will be included in those budget-related bills.

The new fiscal year begins July 1.