CT News Junkie | Former Lt. Gov. Kevin Sullivan Nominated to Head Department of Revenue Services

Social Networks We Use

Connecticut Network

Categories

Our Partners

Former Lt. Gov. Kevin Sullivan Nominated to Head Department of Revenue Services

by | Dec 29, 2010 12:17pm
() Comments | Commenting has expired
Posted to: State Capitol

Hugh McQuaid photo

Kevin Sullivan

(Updated) Gov.-elect Dan Malloy tapped longtime Democratic insider, former Lt. Gov. Kevin Sullivan of West Hartford to head the Department of Revenue Services.

While Sullivan joked at the press conference that he did not intend to be the taxman, Malloy said he is hoping Sullivan will be proactive about collecting money the state is owed.

“As commissioner, Kevin will draw upon his experiences and relationships borne out of his time in the legislature to help Connecticut find new and innovative ways in which to collect the money it is due,” Malloy said.

Malloy said that, given Sullivan’s extensive experience in state government, his position may extend beyond the responsibilities normally associated with the job.

“I have relied on his guidance and counsel over the last number of years and I’m particularly happy he has agreed to join my administration in this position,” Malloy said of Sullivan. “I have made it clear to Kevin that I will call upon his counsel in the future and he can expect to receive assignments from me on an ongoing basis, above and beyond, from time to time, the traditional role as commissioner of revenue services,” he said.

Sullivan said that, like Malloy, he envisions a broader role for the department including a role as part of Malloy’s economic development and job-creation agenda.

Malloy said his administration may be looking to the department to enforce some taxes previously not enforced, including sales tax for purchases made over the Internet, something many people fail to report on annual tax returns. Connecticut, like many states, has not found a viable way to collect what is commonly referred to as the “Amazon Tax” but Malloy said the state can no longer afford not to enforce tax laws more strictly. 

In March the Finance, Revenue and Bonding Committee recommended a bill that would have enforced the tax on internet vendors grossing over $2,000 annually in the state but the bill was never adopted.

Complicating the issue are U.S. Supreme Court decisions, which limit individual states’ authority to require internet vendors to collect the taxes, according to a report by the Office of Legislative Research.

But on Wednesday Malloy signaled it was time to find a way to enforce them.

“We need to collect all of the money that is owed to the people of the state of Connecticut and do it in a timely fashion,” he said. “I think what we’re looking for is a department that is very proactive but also cooperative and works with people. Misunderstandings exist out there and if we are not doing everything in our power to correct those misunderstandings then shame on us.”

Sullivan, who was president of the Senate when former Gov. John G. Rowland resigned, served as a Democrat Lt. Gov. under Republican Gov. M. Jodi Rell. He held that position until 2007 when he left public office.

At the press conference Sullivan thanked his wife Carolyn Thornberry for encouraging him to accept Malloy’s offer and return to government.

Before being elected to the Senate in 1986, Sullivan served as the Mayor of West Hartford and its town council.  He is currently the president of the Children’s Museum in West Hartford.

Tags: , , ,

Share this story with others.

Share | |

Comments

(5) Archived Comments

posted by: City Hall Watch | December 29, 2010  3:37pm

It’s amazing that this is the best Mr. Malloy can do? This is the very best person for this job? He’s stuffing the place full with legislators who never balancedd a budget, saved a buck or acted responsibly or honorably in doing so. To top it all, a recycled Sullivan and a host of special, expensive elections. Amazing.

posted by: ... | December 29, 2010  5:06pm

...

“his administration may be looking to the department to enforce some taxes not enforced…but Malloy said the state can no longer afford not to enforce tax laws more strictly.”

I’m sure there is more detail to this, but it sounds like the perfect Catch-22. Gov. elect Malloy wants tax collection increased to eventually lower the deficit, but we cannot afford to pay to get them collected.

Either tax collectors will need to work harder for less, eliminate taxes we cannot efficiently collect, or make cuts in state spending to help pay for collection (though honestly cutting spending might just do the job best in the short term).

posted by: hawkeye | December 29, 2010  8:55pm

JonessAC12: Honestly cutting spending, will not happen, as the big city Entitlement crowd, elected the Dan Malloy administration, and they already own the Democratic General Assembly.

posted by: ... | December 30, 2010  1:09am

...

I hear ya hawkeye. Though from what I’ve heard at OPM, Malloy will probably take fiscally conservative strategies that his party won’t fully agree with.

And I think when push comes to shove, they (State Dems) won’t be able fight the new head Dem (as he will probably get bi-partisan support for any spending cuts).

posted by: hawkeye | December 30, 2010  1:49pm

City Hall Watch:  You hit it on the nose!  “Dan Malloy is picking Democratic spending prosperity hacks from the General Assembly who got us into this fiscal mess!”

It’s like “the blind, leading the blind!”