A panel of 15 experts in tax law, tax accounting, tax policy, economics, and business finance, is studying Connecticut’s local and state tax structures this fall with an eye to making them simpler and more attractive to job creators.Their first organizational meeting is on Monday, Sept. 29 at 3 pm in Room 2E of the Legislative Office Building in Hartford.

The panel, which was created by the legislature and includes three alternates, must report back to lawmakers by Jan. 1, 2016. Co-chairs of the panel are former legislators Bill Dyson of New Haven, who chaired the Appropriations Committee, and Bill Nickerson of Greenwich, who served as ranking member on the Finance Committee.

Connecticut’s tax study panel will “consider and evaluate options to modernize tax policy, structure, and administration” in a variety of issues—specifically including efficiency, administrative costs, equity, reliability, stability volatility, sufficiency, simplicity, incidence, economic development and competitiveness, employment, affordability, and overall public policy.

It’s an important process for Connecticut to undertake, considering that competitor states like North Carolina and New York have taken the time to review their tax policies competitively and implement  some important reforms.

Connecticut’s panel, when developing their recommendations, must keep in mind the impact and the extent to which state tax policy affects decision-making by businesses and consumers.

Subcommittees will focus on four categories of taxes:

  • Personal income taxes, including estate and gift taxes
  • Business taxes, including excise taxes
  • Consumer taxes
  • Property taxes  

Here are the members of Connecticut’s tax study panel:

  • Bill Breetz, Connecticut Urban League Initiative, Inc.
  • Al Casella, partner, Murtha Cullina
  • Alan Clavette, CPA, Clavette & Company, LLC
  • Bill Dyson, former O’Neill Endowed Chair, Central Connecticut State University
  • John Elsesser, town manager, Town of Coventry
  • Marian Galbraith, mayor, City of Groton
  • Tiana Gianopoulos, senior counsel, Day Pitney
  • Howard K. Hill, founder, Howard K. Hill Funeral Services
  • Yolanda Kodrzycki, vice president and director, New England Public Policy Center
  • Anika Singh Lemar, clinical associate professor, Yale Law School
  • Don Marchand, partner, Ivy, Barnum, & O’Mara
  • Bill Nickerson, CEO, Hoffman Management
  • Lou Schatz, partner, Shipman & Goodwin
  • John Soto, president-owner, Space-Craft Manufacturing
  • Robert Testo, principal, R.J. Testo & Associates


  • Melinda Agsten, partner, Wiggin & Dana
  • David Nee, board member, Connecticut Voices for Children

Ex-Officio members

  • Kevin Sullivan, commissioner, Department of Revenue Services
  • Ben Barnes, secretary, Office of Policy and Management
  • Sen. Don Williams, president pro tem, Senate
  • Rep. J. Brendan Sharkey, speaker of the House
  • Sen. John Fonfara, co-chair, Finance Committee
  • Rep. Patricia Widlitz, co-chair Finance Committee
  • Sen. Scott Frantz, ranking member, Finance Committee
  • Rep. Sean Williams, ranking member, Finance Committee

For more information, contact CBIA’s Bonnie Stewart at 860.244.1925 | bonnie.stewart@cbia.com | @CBIAbonnie