By Steve Zurier. The HBA of Connecticut is vigorously opposing the doubling of the state's conveyance tax to offset the state's budget deficit.

The state is $650,000 in debt this fiscal year and projects a $1.5 billion shortfall for fiscal 2004. Under the plan, the tax rate on $300,000 to $800,000 homes would double to 1 percent of the home sale price, and the tax on properties exceeding $800,000 would go to 2 percent.

The builders want an incremental increase in either the state's income or sales tax. Officials from the HBA expect the state legislature to be debating tax issues well into the spring.