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.
Candelora noted that the legislative session ended two months ago, and that the fiscal year had ended last month with no budget being acted on by the legislature. Governor Rell and legislative Republicans called for making all possible cuts to state spending before enacting tax increases. Following six months of fruitless budget negotiations where Democrats refused to make significant cuts or give up on massive tax increases, Governor Rell announced that she would agree to some tax increases to move the process.
“The governor has come to a point where she can’t get any further with a group unwilling to consider any alternatives to raising taxes,” said Candelora. “I can understand her dilemma because she needs to be able to move the process forward. But I do not believe that tax increases on the public and on a struggling business community at a time when they are suffering most is good policy.”
Candelora also noted that 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. Candelora said that the state will have to raise taxes on more taxpayers to cover a projected $5 billion hole in the future.
“This budget action is in lieu of making tough choices and prioritizing government spending,” said Rep. Candelora. “This proposal is a cop-out on the part of the legislature. What we are learning is that there is no crisis severe enough to keep Democrats from doing business as usual. In the meantime, their tax increases risk a serious potential loss of jobs in a state that has already hemorrhaged 65,000 jobs during this recession.”
Candelora joined House Republicans which twice proposed No-Tax-Increase budgets that are balanced and spend nearly $1 billion less than the Democrats’ latest version. Candelora said he believes it is still possible to craft a budget without raising taxes. The Democratic plan also includes a 15 percent surcharge on all business profits, a 75 cent increase on cigarettes and a 30 percent surcharge on estates.