HARTFORD — In an effort to fuel stalled budget talks, Rep. Penny Bacchiochi joined House and Senate Republicans today in delivering a third, “real world” No Tax Increase budget that solves the state’s fiscal crisis through consolidations and spending cuts rather than reductions to aid for municipalities. Preserving state financial aid to municipalities — something the legislature’s super-majority has yet to propose—is particularly important because that money has a direct affect on local budgets and local property taxes, Bacchiochi said.Connecticut lawmakers are grappling with a budget gap of nearly $9 billion, and Bacchiochi and her colleagues are concerned about raising revenue when so many people are concerned about uncertainty over the possibility of federal tax increases.
Bacchiochi, who represents Somers, Union and Stafford, joined members of the House Republican caucus at a Capitol news conference where they talked about how to close the massive shortfall that’s left Connecticut among the last state’s without a budget.
Republicans demonstrated that the state lawmakers can balance Connecticut’s budget with no tax increases. Majority party legislators, meanwhile, want to raise taxes by a staggering $1.8 billion—increases would affect business and workers.
“Considering how tough life is for people and business in my district, imposing tax increases right now is equivalent to kicking them when their down,” Bacchiochi said.
Bacchiochi finds taxes on business particularly difficult to take, contending such a move would further chill a business climate that’s lost thousands of jobs since January.
New revenue estimates reached during budget negotiations among Gov. M. Jodi Rell and Democratic and Republican leadership prompted Republicans to revise their budget plan.
“We should find ways to reduce spending before considering tax increases,” Bacchiochi said. “We made tough choices in our plan, but I believe it will reintroduce that concept into negotiations and produce a budget that taxpayers can stomach in these tough times.”
According to Quinnipiac University polling, residents have repeatedly said they favor reductions in government spending to government taxing for additional revenue.
Budget negotiations are expected to resume next week.
The “Real World” Budget with NO Tax Increase
- Reduces state spending by 4%
- Maintains current state aid to municipalities
- Consolidates 23 state agencies into six
- Less borrowing than other alternatives
- Maintains funding for social and human services.
The “Real World” Budget: What it DOESN’T Do- Doesn’t increase taxes
- Doesn’t cut aid to cities and towns
- Doesn’t eliminate essential human or social service programs
- Doesn’t close prisons
- Doesn’t close colleges or schools
- Doesn’t close parks or beaches
- Doesn’t close libraries
- Doesn’t close Family Resource Centers