Archive for June, 2011

June 30th, 2011

New Taxes Take Affect Today

by LonSeidman

Local Wolcott property taxes are due on July 1st. They can be paid by mail, or online. Go to www.wolcottct.org to pay these.

State Senator Joe Markley has a summary of the taxes taking affect on July 1st. Some of the income taxes are retroactive to January 1st as well. State taxes which go into affect on July 1st include:

JULY 1ST
Sales and Use Taxes:

The general sales and use tax rate increases from 6% to 6.35%; (make sure your cash register is reprogrammed!)

The room occupancy tax increases from 12% to 15%;

Renting or leasing of a car for 30 days or less increases to 9.35%;

Luxury tax of 7% for cars more than $50,000, boats more than $100,000, jewelry more than $5,000, clothing or footwear, handbag, luggage, umbrella, wallet or watch more than $1,000.

Service Taxes:
Valet parking provided at any airport;

Yoga instruction provided at a yoga studio;
Read the full list of taxes here

June 30th, 2011

Towns Keep Allocation – 1,000 More State Jobs May Go

by LonSeidman

By Hugh McQuaid and Christine Stuart

(Updated 7:38 p.m.) The House Democratic caucus succeeded Thursday in getting Gov. Dannel P. Malloy to take $54 million in municipal aid cuts off the table in exchange for another 1,000 state employee layoffs.

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The House and Senate are both in session now. They can be viewed LIVE discussing proposed stop gap bills at this time. HOUSE CT-N Feed ; SENATE CT-N Feed
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On top of $54 million in municipal aid cuts, Malloy had recommended the elimination of 6,466 jobs from the state budget, including about 1,000 vacant positions and layoffs for nearly 5,500 state employees. In lieu of the municipal aid cuts, the grand total of job cuts is up to about 7,500 — a figure Malloy had previously suggested as a two-year target.

“They know there are a very limited number of ways to make up that cut and they were told it would come in state employee layoffs,” Roy Occhiogrosso, Malloy’s senior communications adviser, said of the restoration of municipal aid. The talks regarding municipal aid took the better part of the afternoon.

Continue reading at CTNewsJunkie.com ….

June 30th, 2011

How Much Will Wolcott Lose in ‘Plan B’?

by LonSeidman

After last week’s union rejection of an agreement with state government, the pointing of fingers has begun. Yet, those fingers aren’t willing to plug the $1.4 to 3 Billion leak in the state budget’s dam. But what exactly will change is yet to be seen. Constitutionally, it seems that the legislature is in control of the state budget still. Even after adjourning their session on June 8th, it is that branch of government who controls the state’s purse strings. Last Friday the Governor ordered them back into session. If he could make budget cuts – or at least budget cuts to the extent necessary to balance the budget – himself, he could have done so without summoning them back to the Capitol.

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June 28th, 2011

Taste of Wolcott Offers Inexpensive Dates

by LonSeidman

Mona Lisa Restaraunt's Outdoor Patio

The outdoor patio at Mona Lisa's is a great place to try a new restaraunt on a beautiful day.

You don’t have to leave town to get an upscale delicious meal on a nice date. And pizza doesn’t have to be the only option. In fact, chefs offering a variety of familiar and unique options are just around the corner for dates that won’t cost a hundred bucks.

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Five Restaurants are participating in this year’s Taste of Wolcott: JD’s Roadhouse, La Fortuna, Bin 300, McBride’s, and Mona Lisa
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Throughout the month of June, five Wolcott establishments have continued their Taste of Wolcott selections. Each sit down meal includes three courses, including either an appetizer, soup, or salad, an entree, and desert at a reasonable price: $10.11 for lunch and $20.11 for dinner.

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June 27th, 2011

Malloy Finalizes Plans, Unions Prepare For Future

by LonSeidman

Gov. Dannel P. Malloy plans on giving the legislature a “roadmap” for how he plans on reducing the two-year, $40.11 billion budget by $1.6 billion in the next 24-hours, according to top administration officials.

Malloy’s Chief of Staff Tim Bannon said the governor will give lawmakers a plan for balancing the budget before July 1 and an idea of just how many pink slips he will send out in the next day. Last week he threatened to send out as many as 7,500 almost immediately, but has since said he will try to reduce that number wherever possible. Ben Barnes, Malloy’s budget director, said pink slips will go out in about two weeks.

Continue reading at CTNewsJunkie…

June 25th, 2011

Deal Rejection Leaves Union Leaders Struggling for Answers

by LonSeidman

As AFSCME Local 391 put the final nail in the concession package’s coffin with a 955-527 vote, lawmakers and union leaders were left at a loss Friday. It’s difficult to pinpoint exactly why the agreement, which preserved jobs for four years and made changes to health and pension benefits, was defeated by a minority of the State Employees Bargaining Agent Coalition.

SEBAC Spokesman Larry Dorman and Matt O'Connor

“The people who voted ‘No’ have a lot of explaining to do to all the members that voted ‘Yes’,” Rep. Patricia Widlitz, D-Guilford, said Friday.

Sixty percent of the coalition voted in favor of the agreement, but AFSCME’s rejection was enough to kill the deal, denying SEBAC the 80 percent threshold it needed for approval. In the end, just two of the 15 unions rejected it.

Continue reading at CTNewsJunkie…

Related: Why They Voted No at the New Haven Independent…

June 25th, 2011

Prepping for the Upcoming Changes in the Catholic Roman Missal

by LonSeidman

Earlier this month the Office for Divine Worship of the Archdiocese of Hartford hosted two workshops entitled, “A New Translation for a New Missal,” regarding the changes in the Catholic Roman Missal at the Archdiocesan Center at St. Thomas Seminary in Bloomfield. The changes to the missal will take effect on November 27, the first Sunday of Advent.

Msgr. James P. Moroney, who is the executive director of Vox Clara, a committee in charge of reviewing and approving all texts for liturgical celebrations in every language, led the two separate workshops: one for priests and the other for the laity.

At its core, the Roman Catholic Mass will… continue reading…

June 24th, 2011

Oral Argument on State Budget Lawsuit Begins Friday

by LonSeidman

By Hugh McQuaid

A Hartford Superior Court judge will hear oral arguments Friday on a motion to dismiss a lawsuit disputing the constitutionality of the state budget—the same day unions are expected to officially reject the labor agreement the budget is contingent upon. The lawsuit, filed by two Republican lawmakers, two former lawmakers, and a conservative think tank called the Roger Sherman Liberty Center, claims that the budget signed by Gov. Dannel P. Malloy violates a constitutional provision requiring the state’s expenditures to match its revenues. The budget was signed with a $2 billion placeholder set aside in the bill for union concessions.

Last month the governor announced a plan to fill a $400 million gap in the budget, obtained largely with unanticipated increased revenues, but the remaining $1.6 billion was expected to come from the savings and concessions included in the tentative labor agreement.

Click to continue reading at CTNewJunkie…

June 24th, 2011

Malloy Calls for Special Session to Close Deficit

by LonSeidman

Malloy looks over a business plan Thursday morning at a meeting at the University of Hartford. Courtesy: Christine Stuart

By Christine Stuart

Despite the union’s best efforts to put a positive spin on the situation, any hope that the concession deal could be salvaged dissipated from the State Capitol on Thursday when Gov. Dannel P. Malloy called for a special session of the legislature. “Calling both chambers into session next week is necessary to close the budget deficit that we will be facing,” Malloy said in a prepared statement. Malloy’s statement assumes the unions were unable to ratify the two-year, $1.6 billion concession package.

The call for the special session schedules it for 10 a.m. Thursday, June 30.

“I am loathe to make the decisions facing us at this juncture – including layoffs, programmatic and municipal aid cuts – but I am left with no choice,“ Malloy added. “Working with the legislature, we will have a balanced budget and one that, while making painful cuts and difficult decisions, will be balanced honestly without tricks or gimmicks.”

Continue reading…

June 24th, 2011

Lighting The Path To New Bulbs

by LonSeidman

By Jenn Strathman

For years, we’ve been buying bulbs based on the wattage. We look at the light fixture, and figure out which bulb we need whether it’s a 40 watt or 150 watt bulb. The Federal Trade Commission says all that is changing in 2012. We’ll know a lot more about a light bulb than you probably ever needed to know.

Starting in 2012, the old incandescent or traditional light bulbs will be pushed off store shelves and replaced only with compact fluorescent bulbs (CFL’s). CFL’s have been around for a few years now, but to mark the switch to CFL’s soley, there will also be packaging changes. You’ll no longer choose a 40 watt bulb, but a 450 lumen bulb.

Continue Reading…