Congress drops storm aid, but raises taxes on areas hit hardest by Sandy

House Speaker John Boehner called it a day before voting on Sandy relief. AP file photo

Congress voted this week to raise taxes on an estimated 153,000 families living in Connecticut, New York and New Jersey, but failed to grant federal aid to deal with the damages from Superstorm Sandy, which struck these same states.

Just hours after voting to raise taxes on families making $450,000 or more a year, which, according to IRS tax records from 2010, would raise taxes on 88,297 New York families, 42,135 New Jersey families and 23,114 Connecticut families, Republican leadership in the U.S. House adjourned Congress electing not to vote on a relief package for Sandy damage.

Many of the people who will be paying higher taxes as a result of the fiscal cliff compromise, also live in areas that were hardest hit by Sandy.

Connecticut, New Jersey and New York have historically paid more in federal taxes than they’ve received back in federal funds. According to a 2006 study by the Tax Foundation, New Jersey got 55 cents for every dollar it sent to the federal government, the worst rate of return of any state of the nation. Connecticut had the second worst rate, getting back 66 cents while New York did a little better, and had the ninth worst return, getting back 79 cents for every dollar.

Months after Sandy damaged them, homes in Milford continue to be exposed to the elements in December. Staff Photographer Brian Pounds

In that same study, Connecticut ranked first for total federal tax burden, New Jersey was second and New York was fourth.

Needless to say, the decision has outraged a fair number of people of both parties in the region.

Rob Varnon