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The start of the new fiscal year has ushered in new taxes and new laws in Connecticut. 

 

Car washes will now collect a sales tax.  The cigarette tax has gone up 25 cents, and in 2017 that will rise again.  Clothes and footwear costing less than 50 dollars used to be exempt from sales tax, but that’s no longer the case.  The state’s corporate tax structure is also changing. 

 

A three year rolling capital improvement plan for the state's technical high school system is being put in place.  That's an update from the current five year rolling plan mandate.  Renovations and repairs that each technical high school is expected to need, including to, athletic fields, heating and ventilation systems, and roofs are to be taken into account.  The state Board of Education must make recommendations for energy efficiency improvements to each school, and the specific equipment each technical high school is expected to need, based on the useful life of existing equipment and projections of changing technology.

 

The cost of textbooks for college students could soon be lowered.  The Board of Regents for Higher Education and The University of Connecticut are being ordered to establish an open-source textbook pilot program.  Digital open source textbooks are books made available on a web site to be used by students, faculty and members of the public on an unlimited basis at minimal or no cost.  The measure was approved by both the House and Senate unanimously. 

 

People who were born and adopted in Connecticut and are at least 18 will now have a chance to see their birth certificate. To be eligible, the adoption has to have been finalized after October 1st 1983.  The bill was voted on in 2014.  There were five votes opposed in the Senate , including Mike McLachlan of Danbury, Toni Boucher of Wilton and then-state Senator John McKinney.

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