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Malloy Proposes New Tax on Mileage

By Barbara Richardson Crouch- from the Norwich Bulletin

With the exploration of a highway mileage tax, it has become increasingly clear that Governor Malloy and his Democratic allies in the Legislature have learned nothing from the fiscal train wreck that has followed from this administration’s pro-tax mentality. Having already passed the two largest tax increases in the state’s history, taking billions out of the pockets of hard-working taxpayers, the Malloy administration is now considering charging Connecticut’s taxpayers for driving to work in the morning.

When it came to stemming the opioid crisis and funding our mental health system, which was cut by $8.7 million, this governor pled poverty. When it came to education funding, which was cut by a total of $57 million, and juvenile justice reform, this governor’s pockets were empty. Yet when it comes to inventing new and ever more intrusive ways to tax people out of the state, this administration can find $300,000 just lying around to study a mileage tax.

According to the Federal Highway Administration, in 2011, the average Connecticut citizen drives 11,595 miles annually. For those of us who live in rural areas, our work commute may top 100 miles per day. Once again, we are presented with a tax that would hit the middle class the hardest. How can the governor ask people who already pay some of the highest taxes in the nation to shoulder yet another burden?

After six years of budget deficits, the governor and his tax-and-spend Democratic colleagues still don’t understand — you cannot tax your way out of this problem. We need real structural changes in Hartford and it is obvious that the Democratic Legislature will not make the necessary changes.
From 2011 to 2013, more than 27,000 residents left the state and took more than $3.8 billion in income, according to the Yankee Institute. In 2014, we suffered a net loss of 13,285 people. It’s easy to see why the governor is distancing himself from the grant.

Yes, the governor claims there is absolutely no plan to institute a mileage tax. If that were true, why would he waste federal tax dollars? Why would he squander vital resources that could help fund our crumbling infrastructure? His answer better not be, “because it isn’t a tax — it’s a fee.”
If you believe the governor when he says that there are no plans to institute a mileage tax, ask yourself: Where is the surplus from 2014?

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Property Tax Progression

Hello again West Hartford! Hope everyone enjoying these last few weeks of what has been a beautiful fall so far. Each of your Republican candidates has been hard at work trying to earn your vote and we encourage you to learn more about them ahead of Election Day. It is easy to call this a biased viewpoint, but we truly believe we have presented four exceptional candidates for Town Council and one for BOE, all of whom care deeply about West Hartford and it’s future. It’s no secret- we’re the minority in town. We just ask that you give us a shot by learning more about each of them. Balanced viewpoints, ideas and debate are a very good thing in a democracy.

And it’s to that end that we write to you today. It can be easy to dismiss annual property tax increases the Democrat majority votes for every year (fine, R’s did too. Once. And it was the lowest increase in years. So there) as incremental, a price you pay for living in a town like this, and below the pace of increases other products and services. You’ll note that one current Democrat used that very line of thinking in his remarks on the most recent budget adoption night (page 18. We’re not as bad as CL&P, MDC and Comcast. Hooray!)

Your RTC would like to highlight these tax increases in a different way. Since the 2011 revaluation where property owners now pay on the full assessed value of their property, the mill rate has increased as such:

July 2012 Bill: 35.75
July 2013: 36.3
July 2014: 37.37
July 2015: 38.31

That represents a total increase of 7.16% since July of 2012. According to the town manager, the average market value of a home in West Hartford is $319,000. 70% of that (the amount on which the mill rate is assessed) is 223,300.

We know, get to the point right? So what this means is that in just 3 years, the average West Hartford homeowner has seen their property tax bill increase by $572 a year. And you have not received any corresponding increase is available services.

Some may say Republicans hammer the point on taxes over and over again, but to us, this is a very sigificant amount. What’s more is that the pace of these increases has resulted in people deciding they cannot afford to live in town any more (see Mr Slifka’s comments on page 23. He acknowedges these residents, and then votes for the increase anyway)

When we ask for your vote, we are asking you to consider a more balanced viewpoint on the Council. Years of Democrat majority on the Town Council (and lets be clear, in the state legislature with the mess they’ve created) has resulted in a loss of focus on you, the taxpayer. We are proud to offer you the candidates we have and ask for your vote on November 3rd.

Thanks for reading!

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2015 Candidate Debates

Hello again West Hartford! This will be a quick one, we promise.

The League of Women Voters and West Hartford Community Television are kind enough every year to coordinate debates for council and BOE candidates for the upcoming (less than 2 weeks!) municipal elections. Well, they were held a couple weeks ago and are available for viewing on the WHCTV website.

Judging by the number of ‘hits’ each debate as received so far (not alot) and because we’d like your vote, here are links to both council debates

We encourage you to watch and to please consider the following-

Which candidates display a firmer understanding of the issues facing West Hartford? (hint- they are Republicans)
Which candidates came prepared with ideas?
The debates include 10 of 11 council candidates- which one did not make himself available for your consideration? (hint- the candidate who won the most votes in the last election)

Thanks for reading and please come out and vote Republican on November 3rd!

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2015 Ballot- Please Take Note

Hello there West Hartford! It’s hard to believe but are only 2 weeks away from our municipal elections and our candidates have been working nonstop to earn your vote this year. From all accounts, voters have been eager to speak with them and to hear their ideas of how we can make West Hartford a better place for all.

You may have noticed that we are running four candidates for town council this year, which is less than in years past. Our town election rules allow voters to select up to six council candidates to vote for however.

Your RTC are aiming to consolidate support among our four superb candidates, rather than spreading it out amongst five or six, with the hopes of winning a fourth seat. Doing so would offer you a greater balance of ideas and debate and act as a check against the current Democratic majority.

So to that end, we’d like to stress that while you are certainly free to vote for up to six council candidates, that you do not HAVE to vote for six.

Thanks as always for reading and please remember to go vote on the 3rd (and be sure to vote Republican!)

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Introducing Our Council Candidates: Bill McCarthy

Hi there again West Hartford! Thanks for taking the time to visit and learn about the slate of exceptional Republican candidates who have stepped up to run for Town Council this year. Our fourth candidate is Bill McCarthy!

“My roots in West Harford go way back, having lived here since 1963. I am one of eight children and my parents still live in the house in town where we grew up. I received a terrific education in West Hartford, attending Whitman Elementary, Plant Junior High and Hall High School (Class of ’77!). I earned my BS degree in Business Administration from Johnson State College and I have been self-employed for the past 30 years as an insurance broker specializing in employee benefits. I have served as assistant coach for a number of my childrens’ athletic teams in West Hartford youth leagues and my wife, Lauri and I have had the privilege of raising two children here in West Hartford, both of whom graduated from Hall.

If you elect me on November 3rd I will work to ensure that West Hartford is an affordable place live, from starting a family through to retirement. I am running for our town council because we have reached the point where that ideal is no longer the case for many of our neighbors. West Hartford has given my family and I so much over our time here and I am asking for your vote on November 3rd so that I can serve as your voice on the council.”

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Introducing Our Council Candidates: Chris Williams

Your West Hartford Republican Town Committee is proud to introduce Chris Williams, who is seeking his first term on the Town Council! Please take a minute to get to know him!

Chris Williams grew up in West Hartford and he, and his wife, Holly, have chosen West Hartford as the place to raise their children, Lilia Clare and Joseph. Chris graduated from Conard High School in 2001 and then went on to Loyola College in Maryland where he earned his B.A. in Political Science. While attending Loyola, Chris received the distinction of being named to both Alpha Sigma Nu, the National Jesuit Honor Society, and Pi Sigma Alpha, the Political Science Honors Society. Upon graduating Loyola cum laude, he obtained a merit scholarship from Quinnipiac University School of Law. During law school Chris received awards for his work in both constitutional law and legislative drafting, was Executive Managing Editor for Quinnipiac’s Health Law Journal, acted as editor and researcher for Understanding Bioethics and the Law by Connecticut Supreme Court Justice Barry R. Schaller and ultimately graduated magna cum laude in 2008. He now practices law at Conway Stoughton LLC – a law firm located in West Hartford.

Chris is strongly committed to public service and has served as a member of West Hartford’s Advisory Commission for Persons with Disabilities West Hartford’s Conservation and Environment Commission and as a Town Council Zoning Alternate. He now hopes to continue to give back to the West Hartford community through election to the Town Council.

Chris is running for West Hartford Town Council to preserve what has always made West Hartford great: good schools, vibrant commercial areas, beautiful and safe neighborhoods and parks. More specifically, however, he is running to ensure that West Hartford continues its legacy that all of its qualities will come together in a manner that makes West Hartford the ideal place to start a family, raise that family and, in so many cases, see that family grow into a new generation of West Hartford residents.

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Introducing Our Council Candidates: Chris Barnes

Hello again West Hartford! Continuing our series to have you get to know each of your four Republican candidates for Town Council, please meet Chris Barnes!

Chris Barnes Town Council

Chris Barnes Town Council

Chris is a current member of the West Hartford Town Council and serves on the Finance and Budget Committee, Administration and Technology Committee, and the Education Liaison Committee. He is completing his first term on the Town Council and seeking re-election to a second two-year term.

Chris and his wife Stephanie have lived in West Hartford for over 19 years and they have three daughters. Chris previously served as a member of the Town’s Risk Management Advisory Board and as a District Chair for the Republican Town Committee. He has coached and volunteered with local youth sports teams and is an active member of St. Timothy’s church. Chris is also a mentor to an elementary school student and serves as a career pathways volunteer in the West Hartford Public Schools.

He is an attorney in West Hartford with the law firm of Reardon Scanlon Vodola Barnes LLP. Chris received a B.A. from the University of Colorado at Boulder, a J.D. from Quinnipiac University School of Law, and a LL.M. in Insurance Law from the University of Connecticut School of Law.

Chris can be reached at (860) 521-3006 or by email at chrisbarnestowncouncil@gmail.com.

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Introducing Our Town Council Candidates: Denise Berard Hall

Hello West Hartford! Our municipal elections are only weeks away and your Republican Town Committee is proud to have nominated four outstanding candidates for Town Council.

First up, please meet current councilor and Minority Leader Denise Berard Hall!

Denise

Denise Berard Hall is a current member of the West Hartford Town Council and has served as the Republican Minority Leader since 2009. She is a member of the Community Planning & Physical Services, Education Liaison, Registrar of Voters Oversight and Rules sub-committees of the Council. She previously served for four years on the Finance & Budget and Public Safety sub-committees. Additionally she is the Council Liaison to the Advisory Commission on Veterans Affairs and a Council appointed member of the Fellowship Housing Board.

Denise is a Senior Vice President and Manager of the Treasury Sales Department at Webster Bank and has over thirty years of experience in the financial industries. Denise joined Webster Bank in 1996, establishing departments to provide business and government clients with money market and fixed income products, and foreign exchange and interest rate derivative products to meet their investment and risk management needs. Denise has an extensive background in derivatives regulation, she has testified before Congress on the impact of the Dodd-Frank Act on regional banks, and was recently interviewed on the subject by Risk Magazine.

Denise has a B.A. from the University of Connecticut, and an MBA from Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute. She is an associate member of the Connecticut Government Finance Officers Association, and member of the Dean’s Advisory Board of the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences at the University of Connecticut, the Nichols College Institute for Women’s Leadership Advisory Board and the Board of Directors of Diabetes Adventure Experience. She is a past President of the Board of Trustees of Mercy Housing and Shelter Corporation.

Denise grew up in West Hartford, attending Duffy, Sedgwick and Conard High Schools. She returned to West Hartford with her husband Tom, and they have lived on Cedar Ledge Road for the past 20 years. They have two children and five grandchildren.

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State GOP Elects J.R. Romano as New Chair

The West Hartford RTC would like to congratulate and welcome J.R. Romano as the new chairperson of the state Republican Party! We look forward to working with you to bring a new direction to Connecticut

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Lincoln-Reagan Dinner 2015 Recap

Your West Hartford RTC held its annual and always-successful Lincoln-Reagan fundraising dinner on Wednesday May 13th at the Wampanoag Country Club here in West Hartford. The dinner is an opportunity for Committee members, local elected officials, interested West Hartford Republicans and statewide GOP personalities to get together and get energized for (in this case) the upcoming municipal elections. And with a big thanks to the staff at Wampanoag Country Club, it allowed us all to do so while having a fine meal in a beautiful setting.

This year we were lucky to have state senator Art Linares (R-33rd) and state rep Aundre Bumgardner (R-41st) agree to join us as speakers. They are two of the state’s young rising GOP stars and we were (and are!) very grateful for their support. At the last minute though, both had to accommodate some unexpected conflicts and were not able to join us. Senator Linares had an opportunity to speak at a national young Republican leadership event in Arizona (see? we’re not kidding on the ‘rising star’ label) and Rep Bumgardner was unexpectedly working late in the current GA session due to some inflammatory and divisive comments from Gov Malloy.

Fortunately for us though, both state senator Joe Markley and John Pavia were in attendance and agreed to pinch hit at the last minute. Both have recently announced their interest in running for the state GOP chair and were able to quickly draw on their extensive and impressive backgrounds in CT politics to put compelling speeches together. We thank them both very much for their service, for stepping up and wish them luck!

Finally, in one of the most encouraging parts of the evening we were joined by a group of young Republicans from Hall, Conard and Northwest Catholic high schools. Each has stepped forward within their respective schools to serve as strong, conservative voices and they represent the future of the town and state parties. One of these students, Brian Wilson, organized his fellow students at Conard in opposition against the overreach to change the school’s mascot from the Chieftain. Brian was ultimately successful, helping the Board of Ed to land on a compromise position where the mascot names would remain but the logos would be changed. In what couldn’t have been easy for him to do, Brian even got up to speak to the gathering but ended with everyone clapping in appreciation of his efforts.

It was a terrific night and we look forward now to the municipal election campaign! Thanks for reading and as always, we invite you to join us at one of our RTC meetings.

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