HARTFORD – In what is quite reminiscent of 2007 when State Republicans showed bi-partisan leadership by proposing a “No Tax” Increase budget, State Rep. John Frey (R-111), of Ridgefield, along with the rest of the legislative Republicans today announced support for an alternative budget proposal that would have no tax increases, preserves vital programs and services at 2007 levels and begins the process of trimming our government of wasteful spending.

House Republicans have proposed a budget alternative that does not raise taxes and requires no reduction to municipal aid – including no reduction in ECS funding to any town – and it restores the $500 property tax credit Democrats eliminated while consolidating many state agencies that are duplicative and have been proven not to work.

Rep. Frey said, “In a time when our CT economy is facing the largest state deficit it has ever faced, CT Republicans today called for a brand new approach to state government. It time for innovative ways to solve this problem.”

Details of the plan include many of the cuts proposed by the Democrats…EXCEPT for cuts in state aid to towns.

The highlights of the Republican alternative are:

• Early retirement to save more than $285 million;
• State worker concessions for salary, health care and pension benefits that save $662 million;
• Folding 23 agencies into six and implementing a hiring freeze to reduce overhead costs.
• Overhauling the higher education bureaucracy that duplicates services and drives up tuition for families struggling to pay for college;
• Preserving school and municipal aid;
• Using the Rainy Day Fund for what it was intended – fiscal distress;
• Imposing $900 million in hard cuts;
• Restoring $25 million in municipal aid cut by Democrats and the $500 property tax credit for families earning as little as $46,000;
• Engaging private companies that can perform duties such as state park maintenance;

The proposal offered by the Republicans eliminates the 30% corporate surcharge tax that has been called ‘a jobs killer.’ As economist Nicholas Perna, a Ridgefield resident, recently said, “I don’t have numbers in my computer that are going to tell me what this (proposed corporate tax increase) is going to do to jobs, but I know it’s not good. You’re either going to discourage companies from staying in Connecticut by putting a surcharge on them when profits are very hard to come by, or you’re going to discourage them from relocating here.”

Mr. Perna is a member of the Governor’s Council of Economic Advisors.

In stark contrast to the Democratic plan that would tax Connecticut residents another $3.3 billion more than they already pay, the Republican proposal does not have any additional taxes. Following along with what the people want when in February 2009 a Quinnipiac Poll concluded that Two-thirds of Connecticut residents believe in cutting government and NO Tax Increases!

Rep. Frey concluded, “This plan understands people are hurting throughout the state including Ridgefield. Taxing them is not the answer. We can do better and I believe today’s No Tax Increase budget plan is a better way for CT and Ridgefielders as we navigate an uncertain time.”

Rep. Frey, House Republican Whip, serves the 111th Assembly District of Ridgefield in the state House of Representatives.

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