DANBURY, Conn. -- Only a week in to the freshly opened legislative session, Danbury State Rep. Stephen Harding (R-107) wrote to several committees requesting they consider nearly 30 pieces of new legislation aimed at helping taxpayers and families across the state.
Given that this year’s session is focused solely on fiscal matters, Harding only can propose non-budgetary bills for the House and Senate’s consideration. His goal is to recruit the aid of respective committee members in relieving local issues surrounding prevailing wages, property taxes, fair elections, affordable housing, crimes involving minors and education costs.
Aspiring to relieve towns of their cumbersome tax demands by the state, he has requested the Labor and Public Employees Committee consider imposing a three-year suspension on the application of prevailing wage rates in order to provide personal property tax relief to towns and ensure maximum money is available for their essential local school and transportation projects.
Also relating to taxes, Harding would like to phase out the existing personal property tax structure applied to businesses. In order to relieve the local communities in the district from the impact of the state’s affordable housing laws, Harding has proposed multiple laws related to Title 8 housing regulations. He has asked the committee consider lowering the occupancy rate of 10 percent to 2 percent for affordable housing projects. Brookfield, Danbury and Bethel would therefore be brought under the qualifying threshold so the statute can no longer apply to the district.
With educational aid and recent graduates as a top priority, Harding has proposed the education cost sharing formula be modified to allow for cost-of-living adjustments. He also asked the Commerce Committee to finally implement the "Learn Here, Live Here" program. This program will help college, technical and health care graduates to save toward a down payment on their first home in the state by saving a portion of their state income tax payments for up to 10 years after they graduate.
Harding represents the 107th district, which includes Brookfield, Bethel and Danbury.
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