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Photo of Senator Ted Kennedy, Jr..


Ted Kennedy, Jr.

Listening to You

Back-to-School Savings: Tax-Free Week Begins This Sunday!

The new school year for most children begins in less than two weeks, and that means back-to-school shopping.

So once again, for the 17th year in a row, many items of clothing and footwear that cost less than $100 can be purchased without paying any Connecticut sales tax during "Sales Tax-Free Week" beginning this Sunday, August 20, and running through next Saturday, August 26.

Tax-free Week.

During Sales Tax-Free Week, most individual items of clothing and footwear priced under $100 are exempt from Connecticut's sales tax. For items costing $100 or more, the sales tax is calculated on the full purchase price.

Connecticut is one of just 16 states in America that offers its residents a tax-free holiday for back-to-school clothing and footwear purchases. According to the National Retail Association, the average family with children in grades K-12 plans to spends about $600 on back-to-school shopping. That means Connecticut families will save about $4.1 million during this sales tax holiday week.

And there are no limits on how many items you can buy, as long as each individual item is priced less than $100.

I hope you'll make some time to take advantage of these tax savings for your back-to-school needs!

Growing Our Healthcare Economy

Connecticut is known for cutting edge medical research and for offering a high quality of health care at hospitals and other medical offices. This year I led passage of Senate Bill 820, now Special Act 17-22, which seeks to promote physicians and physician offices to participate in the Small Business Express program. This program is designed to provide capital to small businesses so that they can expand in Connecticut and hire new employees.

Hundreds of Connecticut businesses have already benefitted from the Small Business Express Program, as have the thousands of people employed as a result of it. This new law will bring that same record of the success to our state's small medical practices, which often struggle to access capital but are eager to grow and create jobs.

Established in 2011, the Small Business Express Program has been highly successful at creating and retaining jobs across the state. To date, 1,690 companies have qualified for more than $267 million in grants and loans through the Small Business Express Program. Those companies have stated that they expect the funding through Small Business Express has will allow them to retain 18,687 jobs while creating an additional 6,805 jobs.

Cow Power Becomes Law

Farmers across the country are becoming leaders in the field of green energy production. This year I led passage of Senate Bill 943, now Public Act 17-218, that will help Connecticut farmers enter the competitive manure-to-energy industry through anaerobic digestion. This new law authorizes $3 million in credits for farms that use anaerobic digesters for virtual net metering. These credits are expected to prompt the rapid development of six to ten anaerobic digester facilities on many of Connecticut's 111 registered dairy farms. The law also creates an easier, cheaper and faster regulatory permitting process for farmers who are interested in adopting this technology.

cow power

Connecticut farmers are struggling to compete with industrial dairy operation in the Midwest, where labor and land costs are cheaper. The 'cow power' initiative will help even the scales by establishing a new source of farm revenue. This bill creates a pathway for Connecticut's dairy farmers to begin converting cow manure into electricity for sale. Instead of storing tons of manure in open cesspools that contaminate the water supply and release tons of climate-destroying methane into the atmosphere, farmers can place the animal waste in an anaerobic digester located on their property.