State Rep. Tim LeGeyt (R-Avon/Canton) today voted against the largest proposed tax hike in state history, contending that another Democratic spending spree will only further cripple any economic recovery.
There is always more need than the state can afford to provide and we have to draw the line in this recession far short of the generous spending levels seen in prior surplus years. Several of the Democratic proposals will send Connecticut residents packing to states where the tax burden is leaner, with the unintended consequence that some tax increases will cause certain revenue streams to actually decline.
The Democratic plan relies on billions in “one shot’’ revenues such as the $1.4 billion Rainy Day Fund, $3 billion in federal stimulus money and “securitization’’ of $835 million in unspecified revenue streams. In two years, when the next biennial budget has to be approved, those “one shot” revenues will be gone and the state will have to raise taxes on more taxpayers to cover a projected $5 billion hole.
Other damaging aspects of the Democrat plan include:
• Hike the personal income tax on joint filers on those making $500K or more.
• 15% increase the tax on corporate profits to 8.625%
• A 30% surcharge on estate and gift taxes.
Legislative Republicans have twice proposed No Tax increase budget that are balanced and spend nearly $1 billion less than the Democrats’ latest version. Rep. LeGeyt said he believes it is still possible to craft a budget with more cuts, and less of an increase in revenues.
State Rep. John Piscopo (R-Thomaston) today voted against the largest tax hike in state history, contending another huge Democratic spending spree will only hinder an economic recovery.
Taxpayers and families are struggling to make ends meet, and trimming their budgets to stay afloat. It is incumbent for the state government to do the same to bring relief to working families in our state. You simply can not convince me at this point that there is no room to streamline government to reduce spending. This budget sends us down the wrong path
The Democratic plan relies on billions of “one shot’’ revenues such as the $1.4 billion Rainy Day Fund, $3 billion in federal stimulus money and “securitization’’ of $835 million in unspecified state assets that have to be replaced within two to three years. The state will have to raise taxes on more taxpayers, to cover a projected $5 billion hole.
Other “highlights” of the Democrat plan include:
• 15% increase in surcharge on corporate profits to 8.625%
• Increase Preference Tax by $650K
• Reduces the Film Tax Credit in the out year, one of the only things our government has done in the past few years that actually brings $$$ into the state and creates jobs
• A 30% surcharge on estates and gifts (on TOP of the current death tax)
• Increases tax on tobacco products
• Hike the personal income tax on joint filers making $500K or more.
Legislative Republicans have twice proposed No Tax Increase budgets that are balanced and spend nearly $1 billion less than the Democrats’ latest version. Rep. Piscopo said he believes it is still possible to craft a budget with more cuts, and without raising taxes.
State Rep. John Piscopo represents Burlington, Harwinton, Litchfield and Thomaston in the General Assembly.
State Representative Vincent Candelora (R-86) today stood in opposition to the largest proposed tax hike in state history which was unveiled today by legislative majority Democrats. Candelora, who serves as Ranking Member of the legislature’s Finance Committee opposed the measure before the committee this afternoon in a meeting at the Legislative Office Building in Hartford.
The Democratic proposal raises taxes by $1.85 billion including a huge increase in the income tax, and a hefty new tax on businesses that will likely lead to more job losses in the state. Read More→
HARTFORD — The legislature’s majority party today rolled out its latest spending plan, a proposal that would increase taxes by more than $1.8 billion. Rep. Themis Klarides, who represents Woodbridge, Orange and Derby, told fellow lawmakers about the negative impact tax increases have on businesses and, more important, job growth.
HARTFORD — Connecticut residents need jobs, not more taxes. Rep. John Rigby during a Finance Committee meeting today voted against a proposal from the legislature’s majority party that would impose more than $1.8 billion in new taxes at a time when people can least afford it. The balanced budget plan from Rigby and his House Republican colleagues, meanwhile, would spend nearly $1 billion less than the majority party’s latest offering. Read More→
A regulation proposed by the state Department of Agriculture that would help prevent people from being exposed to rabies from animals present or on display in areas accessible to the public has been approved by the state legislature’s Regulations Review Committee. Read More→
HARTFORD — Connecticut residents need jobs, not more taxes. Rep. Penny Bacchiochi is no fan of the latest budget plan offered today by the legislature’s majority party, a proposal that that would impose more than $1.8 billion in new taxes at a time when people can least afford it. The balanced budget plan from Bacchiochi and her House Republican colleagues, meanwhile, would spend nearly $1 billion less than the majority party’s latest offering. The budget plan from the legislature’s majority also includes a 15 percent surcharge on all business profits, a 75-cent increase on cigarettes and a 30 percent surcharge on estates. What’s more, their plan relies on billions of one-shot revenues such as the $1.4 billion Rainy Day Fund, $3 billion in federal stimulus money as well as securitization $835 million in unspecified state assets that have to be replaced within two to three years. Even worse, it would continue an infamous pattern of legislative policy that’s made life difficult for businesses in Connecticut. More taxes on businesses, for one, could further harm job growth in the state — job growth that would help reverse this economic downturn.
from the fairfield Sun Newspaper
Hungry for a State budget
Written by Bill Bittar
Thursday, 23 July 2009 15:07
State Representatives Tony Hwang (R-
134th) and T.R. Rowe (R-123rd) oppose
any tax increases without ‘a concerted
effort to make dramatic spending cuts.’
Bacon sizzled on the griddle in the
kitchen of a local eatery one morning, as
cooks busily whipped up scrambled eggs,
dipped bread in egg yolks to make
French toast and poured batter for pancakes.
Meanwhile, two state legislators sitting in a nearby booth told reporters
stories of government gridlock as potent as the Shelton restaurant’s arteryclogging
Since Gov. M. Jodi Rell’s initial two-year budget recommendation in
February, proposals and counter proposals have been rejected through the
winter and the spring. Connecticut entered the new fiscal year on July 1 with
an empty plate.
Both sides in a sharp partisan divide blame their counterparts in the
opposition party for the lack of progress.
If Connecticut has no budget by August, Rell will have to give an executive
order to decide on funding for the month. She already had to do so for July.
State Representatives Tony Hwang (R-134th) and T.R. Rowe (R-123rd) say
they want to see a greater commitment among Democrats to cut the fat in a
projected $8.5 billion budget deficit legislators will have to close over the
next two years.
“Fundamentally, we will not consider any tax increases unless there has
been a concerted effort to make dramatic spending cuts,” Hwang said over
breakfast with Rowe and two newspaper reporters.
2 ? ?
In a telephone interview Thursday, Senate minority leader John McKinney
(R-28th), said a temporary “media blackout” is in effect, in which Rell and
party leaders have agreed not to negotiate in the press.
“We don’t have a deal yet,” McKinney said. “We’re still apart on the
numbers, and we’re going to continue to work until we can get a deal.”
Hwang and Rowe believe there needs to be more of a willingness to
compromise among Democrats, who hold the majority in the state
State legislators Thomas Drew (D-132) and Kim Fawcett (D-133) say a
serious conversation about specific programs and cuts has yet to take place.
A bright sun beat down on Democratic state Representatives Thomas Drew
and Kim Fawcetts’ table on the brick patio outside Starbucks on Fairfield’s
Post Road late Friday morning. The legislators shared their views on the
Hartford deadlock over a round of cold drinks.
“I don’t support the process that’s going on right now,” Drew said. “It’s more
partisan and ideological. Kim and I are being more moderate. The leadership
on all sides is not talking about practical solutions to practical problems.”
“My priority is to find the cuts and efficiencies first, and we won’t support a
package until that work is done,” Fawcett said.
Drew (D-132nd) and Fawcett (D-133rd) formed a group of Fairfield County
Democrats in an effort to force conversations about serious issues to take
place before any budget deal is struck.
The group, made up of about four senators and 15 representatives, makes
up a sizable voting block, according to Fawcett.
“Our voice is going to be the moderate voice that makes an impact because
they can’t pass a budget without this block,” she said.
This group has been holding conference calls and meetings over the past
eight weeks since the last legislative session closed.
3 ? ?
An economy in crisis
Governors and lawmakers are waging nasty battles in places like Oregon,
Arizona and Mississippi as states try to balance budgets at a time of plunging
Connecticut is one of three states that have yet to adopt a budget.
“This is the worst economic crisis of my lifetime,” McKinney said. “We are
dealing with the ramifications of that crisis. There are no good solutions. We
have to concentrate on the best long term, rather than short term
Beyond the estimated $8.5 billion deficit the next budget must address,
McKinney believes deficits will run between $6 billion to $8 billion over the
two years that follow.
“Some of the revenue we’re using now, a billion-and-a-half from the federal
stimulus package and another $1.5 billion rainy day fund, that’s $3 billion
that won’t be there two years from now,” McKinney said.
Hitting the reset button
Hwang and Rowe propose rolling back spending to 2007 state budget levels,
a move they say would close the deficit.
The GOP legislators plan to do this, in part, by making deeper spending cuts
and privatizing some programs, with successful non-profits such as the
Kennedy Center filling in the void.
Hwang says there has been resistance among state social services officials,
who charge that legislators who support privatization do not understand the
work they do. He said he offered to spend a day at these departments and
talk with employees to see how they operate, but had no takers.
Private citizens, many of whom have either lost or fear losing their jobs,
have cut back on groceries, eating out and travel. Just as families are
cutting back on household budgets, Hwang believes government should do
4 ? ?
Fairfield’s Democratic representatives oppose going back to 2007 spending
“That’s very irresponsible to do that kind of across the board cut,” Fawcett
said. “That’s a $3 million cut in education funding for the town of Fairfield.”
She estimated that cities like Bridgeport and Stamford would stand to lose
$10 million in state education money.
Further, Fawcett says the cuts might lead to losses in federal funding.
Mandates for some federal dollars call for education spending to remain
level, she said. Matching funds are paid for some other programs, such as
road maintenance, and this money, too, would be reduced.
But Hwang said that no one would support cuts that lead to losses in federal
“There are no distinctions being made to budget items that have no value,”
Drew said. “There are gross, broad generalizations.”
“We cannot afford to put an additional tax burden on the state,” Hwang said.
“They want to criticize, but what is their solution? Give me specifics.”
What to cut?
Of the state’s $17 billion budget, Fawcett said that $10 billion could not be
cut because it is for debt obligations, retirement contributions, mandated
education spending and Medicare and Medicaid costs.
This leaves $7 billion with the need to make $4 billion in cuts a year to close
an estimated $8 billion deficit, she said.
Fawcett says cuts might include aid to towns that helps keep property taxes
lower, closing prisons while simultaneously laying off state troopers, cutting
after school programs and culture, tourism and recreation services people
“If you run the numbers, taxes and fees are forced up if we’re determined to
keep the most impactful programs in place,” she said.
5 ? ?
“I believe we need to support services for the most vulnerable,” Hwang said.
“We need a balance of doing something, rather than raising taxes on people
in the most difficult times.”
Until a budget is adopted, state lawmakers must opt for staycations this
summer to ensure they are within driving distance of the capital when a deal
Concerns are mounting as Fairfield’s delegation holds its collective breath for
the next proposal.
“I think most taxpayers in the state feel we’re paying for a lack of
accountable spending,” Hwang said. “Why can’t we live within our means?”
“I’m frustrated that we won’t find a balance that is fair,” Fawcett said of
taxing and spending.
Drew is thinking about the real life impacts, a story he says is not being told.
Drew hopes groups awaiting state funding will apply more pressure on
government leaders should it come to Rell having to give an executive order
to decide on funding for August.
“The real life analysis and conversation the public really, truly needs is not
happening,” Drew said. “The other parties have to be willing and ready to
participate. You can’t force them to do that.”
On August 3rd, the Access Community Action Agency will begin taking applications for the 2009-2010 heating season. August 3rd and 4th will be dedicated to completing applications for homebound individuals. An appointment to apply for assistance is necessary. Early intake for the Energy Program is available again this year in the state through the efforts of the CT Department of Social Services. Those who wish to apply for energy assistance in Windham and Tolland Counties should contact the local Access Community Action Agency office to schedule an appointment. Offices are located at 231 Broad Street, Danielson, by calling (860) 774-0418, or in the Willimantic area at 1315 Main Street, Suite 2, Willimantic, by calling (860) 450-7423. Residents of Tolland County may also contact their local social service providers for information and applications.