Retailers pushing back against Sales Tax hike

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RETAILERS ACROSS THE STATE ARE SPEAKING OUT AGAINST THE LATEST STATE BUDGET PLAN. AND THEY SAY THAT THE LONGER THE STATE BUDGET STALEMATE DRAGS ON AT THE CAPITOL…THE WORSE IT IS FOR BUSINESS.CHIEF POLITICAL CORRESPONDENT MARK DAVIS JOINS US LIVE WITH MORE… GOOD EVENING MARK. GOOD EVENING. THE PROPOSED SALES TAX HIKE FROM 6.35 PERCENT TO 6.85 PERCENT IS NOT GOING OVER VERY WELL WITH RETAILERS…. PLUS THERE’S A PROPOSAL TO INCREASE ANOTHER PART OF THAT TAX THAT WOULD IMPACT YOUNG PEOPLE PLANNING TO GET MARRIED. 3 (SUPER=DON UNWIN/STERLING JEWELERS) 10-15 JEWLERY RETAILER DON UNWIN SAYS THAT THE LONGER THE STATE BUDGET STALEMATE DRAGS OUT AT THE STATE CAPITOL…. THE BIGGER NEGATIVE IMPACT IT HAS ON LOCAL BUSINESSES LIKE HIS. [UNWIN] “THE INDECISION IS VERY DISRUPTIVE TO PEOPLE’S PSYCHE TO BUYING AND MAKING DECISIONS ESPECIALLY ON BIGGER TICKET ITEMS.”HE SAYS CUSTOMERS TELL HIM THAT EVEN THOUGH THEY MAY BE COMFORTABLE IN THEIR JOBS THERE IS CONCERN ABOUT WHETHER OR NOT THEIR EMPLOYER MIGHT RE-LOCATE TO ANOTHER STATE….AND HE SAYS THE POTENTIAL HIKE IN THE SALES TAX DOESN’T HELP MATTERS.[UNWIN] “THE SALES TAX IS JUST ANOTHER BRICK ON THE WALL AND NONE OF IT IS PROMOTING A POSITIVE GOOD FEELING FOR BUSINESS.” WHAT HAS NOT BEEN WIDELY REPORTED IS THAT THE HOUSE DEMOCRATS BUDGET PLAN ALSO INCREASES THE SO-CALLED LUXURY TAX, THE PORTION OF A DIAMOND ENGAGEMENT RING THAT COSTS MORE THAN $5,000 IS CURRENTLY TAXED AT 7 PERCENT. THE HOUSE DEMOCRATS PLAN WOULD INCREASE THAT, TOO WHICH WOULD IMPACT MANY YOUNG COUPLES JUST STARTING OUT.[UNWIN] “THE LUXURY TAX ISN’T JUST BEING PAID BY THE FAT CATS THAT SOME OF OUR LAWMAKERS THINK IT’S BEING COLLECTED FROM.” THE CONNECTICUT RETAIL MERCHANTS ASSOCIATION SAYS THAT NOW IS THE WRONG TIME TO INCREASE THE SALES TAX FOR A VERY IMPORANT REASON.[PHELAN] “THE INCREASE IN THE SALES TAX WILL DRIVE MORE CUSTOMERS TO THE INTERNET, LESS CUSTOMERS TO THEIR STORES, WILL BE HARMFULL TO THE STATE’S ECONOMY AND SORT OF DEFEAT THE PURPOSE.” 3 THAT’S BECAUSE RAISING THE SALES TAX IS DESIGNED TO RAISE MORE MONEY…. BUT IF MORE SHOPPERS FLEE TO INTERNET SITES THAT DON’T COLLECT

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