Praise for our friends in Connecticut

This week the Connecticut legislature passed a controversial budget that included an income tax increase on couples making more than $1 million and single filers earning $500,000 a year. (Read more about it here.)

Naturally, the initiative had its share of opponents. But it also won support from residents — among them, a group of upper-income taxpayers.

Just before the budget vote came to a head, several of those supporters presented an open letter to the governor and lawmakers. The letter was organized by Better Choices for Connecticut Coalition and many members of Responsible Wealth. Here’s an excerpt:

“As upper-income residents of Connecticut who treasure the quality of life in our state, we believe that Governor Rell’s proposed budget cuts unnecessarily limit the State’s ability to maintain public structures and human services that are vital to keeping Connecticut strong and vibrant […]

Part of the solution to the budget crisis lies in asking those with more resources to pay higher marginal rates.  Progressive tax brackets are being used in many of Connecticut’s neighboring states and are an important means for establishing fairer, more reliable state revenue […]

As upper-income Connecticut State taxpayers, we are willing and able to share in the solution to our state’s budget crisis.”

This letter — and these outspoken taxpayers — fosters precisely the kind of dialogue Wealth for the Common Good is trying to promote. Local, state and federal budgets are tenuous as our nation starts to recover from the economic crisis that peaked one year ago. To move beyond these challenges, it’s true: We all have to share in the solution — in a fair and equitable way. Kudos to Connecticut for taking a step in that direction.