Capitol Corner



We had a very successful 2019 legislative session, defeating a sales tax on accounting and tax services proposal, stopping an increase to the CPA license fee, and addressing a number of other troublesome bills. Thank you all for playing an active role in our advocacy efforts. It would not have been possible without the help of all of you who heard our calls to action and emailed legislators, submitted testimony, donated to our digital advertising efforts, and more. Thank you!

Read the 2019 Connecticut Legislative Session Wrap-Up (pdf). 

View the complete text of Public Act 19-186 and Public Act 19-117. 

         

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We've got our eye on happenings at the Capitol! If 
state or federal legislation or accounting standards activity will affect you, your company, or your clients, we'll keep you updated here.

State News

Gov. Ned Lamont asks for review of new tax on ice cream, pizza and other items sold at grocery stores
Gov. Ned Lamont has directed his budget office and the state tax department to review a 7.35 percent tax on prepared foods set to begin Oct. 1 after lawmakers complained it is being interpreted in a broader fashion than they intended. The tax would apply not just at restaurants but also to a wide variety of foods sold at grocery stores including single-serve ice cream bars, sealed bags of lettuce, doughnuts, bagels, pizza slices and rotisserie chickens, according to guidance published...
CT’s biggest corporate incentive you’ve never heard of
State government’s corporate-incentive deals have come under scrutiny in recent years, as questions have arisen about whether it’s a proper use of taxpayer money to provide loans, grants or tax breaks to private-sector enterprises. In fact, Gov. Ned Lamont’s administration is pulling back on his predecessor’s strategy of providing upfront loans or grants to companies, instead offering incentives only after businesses reach certain job or investment benchmarks.
So far, Larson and Lamont don’t intersect on highways
U.S. Rep. John B. Larson, D-1st District, joked Friday about his “tunnel vision.” For three years, he has been promoting a multi-billion dollar concept for burying the I-84/91 interchange in Hartford. And that, according to a colleague, makes him unique in Congress. Larson, 71, a congressman for 20 years, is not simply seeking federal funding. He is working outside the state Department of Transportation on his own infrastructure vision, one that would compete with plans being developed by...
New Meals Tax Guidance Has Republicans Calling Foul, Grocery Stores Scrambling
Republican lawmakers say Connecticut residents should prepare to pay more at the grocery store starting on Oct. 1, based on guidance from the Department of Revenue Services. The state budget approved with only Democratic votes included language that increases the sales tax on certain foods and drinks. However, until now it was unclear exactly what items might qualify for that higher 7.35% sales tax.
How a $1B data-center project landed in New Britain
Data centers are seen as powerful economic drivers that allow cities, regions and states to generate jobs and tax revenue. However, Connecticut has largely missed out on opportunities to land such high-tech facilities. Generally, burdensome property taxes and highest-in-the-nation electricity prices are major hurdles. Another challenge is that, unlike in dominant data-center states like Virginia, government incentives for such facilities aren’t a lock.

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Accounting Standards and Regulations

Treasury, IRS release final and proposed regulations on new 100% depreciation
The Treasury Department and the Internal Revenue Service today released final regulations (PDF) and additional proposed regulations (PDF) under section 168(k) of the Internal Revenue Code on the new 100% additional first year depreciation...
While Connecticut Waits, Other States Take Action On Marijuana Legislation
While efforts to legalize recreational marijuana have stalled in Connecticut, those same efforts have made progress around the country. A new report from the Marijuana Policy Project (MPP) released earlier this week details the cannabis policy...
Regionals Ponder CPA Evolution
The “Guiding Principles” for transforming the CPA profession to meet constantly escalating technological advances were the primary focus of the June 2019 NASBA Regional Meetings. On June 11-12 the Eastern Regional Meeting was held in Washington,...
Facebook Crypto Plan Draws Fresh Fury From House Democrats
Facebook Inc. took a beating for a second straight day over its controversial cryptocurrency plans as Democratic lawmakers argued the proposal posed vast privacy and national security risks. At a Wednesday hearing before the House Financial...
Bitcoin Drops Below $10,000 Again as Congress Scrutinizes Libra
Bitcoin slid below $10,000 just three weeks after surging above it for the first time in more than a year as U.S. legislators expressed deep skepticism about the viability of cryptocurrencies.

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Federal News

Treasury, IRS release final and proposed regulations on new 100% depreciation
The Treasury Department and the Internal Revenue Service today released final regulations (PDF) and additional proposed regulations (PDF) under section 168(k) of the Internal Revenue Code on the new 100% additional first year depreciation deduction that allows businesses to write off most depreciable business assets in the year they are placed in service by the business. The regulations released today on IRS.gov have been submitted to the Federal Register and may vary slightly from the...
Tax cuts are back on the agenda. They're not a done deal
Central bankers will take center stage when they gather in Jackson Hole later this week. But for now, as investors sit and wait, monetary policy isn't what's generating the most buzz. That's right. Almost two years after US President Donald Trump and Republicans passed a $1.5 trillion tax cut package, fiscal stimulus has reentered the conversation.
74% of economists in survey see U.S. recession by end of 2021
A strong majority, 74 percent, of U.S. business economists appear sufficiently concerned about the risks of some of President Donald Trump’s economic policies that they expect a recession in the U.S. by the end of 2021. The economists surveyed by the National Association for Business Economics, in a report released Monday, mostly didn’t share Trump’s optimistic outlook for the economy, though they generally saw recession coming later than they did in a survey taken in February.
Tips for complying with GDPR, avoiding big fines
In its first year, the EU’s General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) yielded nearly 90,000 data breach notifications and two notable fines for companies that regulators said lacked compliance with the data privacy rules. Google was fined €50 million ($55 million) by French officials, and British Airways faces a fine of £183 million ($223 million) in the UK. Those are the big names; other smaller fines have been handed down since the regulation took effect in May 2018.
When It Comes to Data Privacy, States Are Battling Big Tech
Discomfort over the collection and sale of personal data led to a flurry of consumer data privacy bills in 2019, as state legislatures vied to follow California’s lead in giving users more control of personal information. But the legislative year ended with more of a whimper than a bang as well-funded tech giants and other business concerns rushed to oppose the bills, and even California is scrambling to fix details of its data privacy law before it takes effect in January.

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