Jewelers of America (JA) applauds former Board Chairman John Green, President and CEO of Lux Bond & Green in West Hartford, CT, for speaking out against a proposed 3% luxury tax on jewelry priced over $5,000 in the state. The new tax was included in Connecticut Gov. Dannel Malloy’s proposed 2012-2013 budget.
Take Action to Stop Luxury Tax
Jewelers of America has joined forces with the CJA to fight the tax. We are urging Connecticut-based jewelry businesses to write Gov. Malloy and their state representatives, using JA’s “Stop the Luxury Tax on Jewelry in Connecticut!” action alert, which includes suggested talking points on the issue.
Green spoke on behalf of Jewelers of America, the Connecticut Jewelers Association (CJA), and his own business, at a March 7th hearing of the state’s Finance, Revenue and Bonding Committee. He said he and his staff are worried about the negative impact of the tax, which -- combined with the current Connecticut sales tax rate -- would effectively raise the tax rate to over 9%. “They understand our customers will shop in other states, jeopardizing their jobs,” he said of his staff’s concerns.
Green noted that consumers are already looking to neighboring states for jewelry purchases, to avoid the potential tax. He emphasized the fact that a luxury tax is not simply a tax on the wealthy, but impacts people of all income levels. “It’s about the Main Street jeweler and engagements, special occasions, 25th anniversaries, which affect all of us in this room,” he said.
He added that as with past luxury taxes, perception would have an even bigger impact than reality. “Our customers will go elsewhere both on sales over $5,000 and sales under $5,000. It will mislead consumers into believing all jewelry is taxed,” he said.
Rather than raising revenues, he said luxury taxes have been historically proven to lead to job losses and business failures. He urged state officials not to make the same mistake in Connecticut.