HARTFORD – In what can only be called another pilfering of taxpayers in Fairfield County, the Democrats Thursday unleashed a budget that declares war on the families of Connecticut who are trying to balance their home budgets.
Rep. Frey voted against a proposed two-year tax package offered by the Democrat members of the Finance Committee. The proposal includes no new spending cuts while taxing residents who make more than $135,000 a year and borrowing hundreds of millions of dollars just the keep the state government lights going.
Democrats increase all kinds of taxes – $3.3 billion overall – including the income tax, elimination of sales tax exemptions, business tax increases, and a death tax increase and the state would also begin taxing internet sales. This is the largest tax increase in the history of the state.
The current highest rate on the state income tax of 5 percent would increase to 6 percent for couples filing jointly who earn more than $250,000 annually. The rate would under the Democrat proposals, increase to 7 percent for those earning more than $500,000 and 7.5 percent for income above $750,000, dating back to January 1. For income above $1 million, the top rate would be 7.95 percent.
For every .5% increase in the income tax, it is estimated to cost the residents of Ridgefield approximately $16 million.
Last month Connecticut residents overwhelmingly support spending cuts pushed by Republicans – not tax increases – to balance the state budget, according to a Qunnipiac University poll. By a whopping 67-23 percent margin poll respondents said spending cuts and not tax increases should be used to balance the budget and wipe out the projected $8 billion deficit over the next two years.
“They simply ignore reality: Connecticut cannot afford or sustain broad tax increases at a time when people are losing their jobs and revenue across the board is vanishing,’’ Frey said.
Nearly 70 percent of those polled said that proposed budget cuts, including elimination of two dozen state agencies, are either appropriate or that they do not go far enough.
Rep. Frey added, “No one wants to see people lose their jobs but given our fiscal realities Connecticut must have a government it can afford and sustain. We have ignored the problems long enough.’’
Rep. Frey noted that the budget also uses a number of gimmicks and one-time revenues to pay for ongoing expenses.
“Ridgefield citizens will pay far more than they will ever receive; a result of the tax increase. In fact, Ridgefield pays the 10th most in income tax revenue out of 169 municipalities. Connecticut residents already shoulder one of the heaviest tax burdens in the country. If the state legislature approves a budget along with this tax package without any significant spending cuts, the tax increases that will come with it will be a drag on our state’s economy, hurt our efforts to make Connecticut more attractive to out of state companies, and mean fewer new jobs for the people Connecticut,” concluded Frey.
On Friday, Governor Rell said that she was disappointed with the budget adopted by the Democrats and would veto it if it reached her desk. She encouraged the legislature to work in a bi-partisan manner with her to craft a responsible state budget to be considered before the legislature adjourns June 3rd.
Rep. Frey, House Republican Whip, serves the 111th Assembly District of Ridgefield in the state House of Representatives.