HARTFORD, Conn. – Unable to get the Senate to take up his property tax bill, House Speaker Brendan Sharkey was forced Wednesday to settle for a further compromise that would force nonprofit colleges and universities to pay taxes on new buildings for student housing. But when the smoke cleared, the Senate refused to take up the bill.
Sharkey’s original bill would have forced colleges and hospitals to negotiate their property tax bills with their host communities and the state would no longer have to pay those municipalities a percent of the property taxes they would have received from these entities. A compromise approved Saturday would have seen tax-exempt institutions like colleges and hospitals paying local property taxes on only new properties they purchase after July 1. The newest iteration didn’t apply to hospitals.
The House approved the new language 140-4. It was sent back to the Senate where it failed to get called for a vote.
The bill highlighted the tension between Sharkey and Sen. President Donald Williams. The conflict between the two appears to have started in April when Sharkey took the unusual step of suspending his chamber’s rules in order to quickly raise and publicly kill Williams’ top legislative priority.
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