The No Tax Increase alternative budget unveiled by state House and Senate Republicans at an August 6th news conference would not increase the tax burden on families, individuals and employers and would help Connecticut recover from the recession earlier than other states in the northeast. The ‘Real World’ proposal, the third No Tax Increase budget developed by Republican legislators, is balanced, preserves state aid to local school districts at current levels and maintains funding for essential social and human services programs, said Representative Noujaim, who participated in the news conference.
The Republican plan would eliminate the state’s $8.5 billion budget deficit and solve the state’s fiscal crisis by consolidating state agencies and implementing responsible reductions in state spending. In contrast, the majority Democrats’ most recent budget plan would increase taxes by $1.8 billion, including a 15 percent increase in the surcharge on corporate profits.
“Connecticut has been mired in a deep recession for more than a year; 26,000 businesses have closed their doors over the past two years, the unemployment rate is at 8 percent and our population continues to shrink as productive people leave our state in search of jobs and opportunity in low tax states in the south and southwest,’’ Representative Noujaim said. “Raising taxes during the worst recession to hit Connecticut in decades will have devastating consequences for families and employers in the Greater Waterbury area and throughout out state.”
“The majority party’s proposal to increase the surcharge on corporate profits b y 15 percent, which would raise it to 8.265 percent, would force companies that already are struggling to survive to lay off even more employees,” said Representative Noujaim, who is the executive vice-president of Noujaim Tool Company, Inc. in Waterbury. “Increasing the tax burden on employers and on individuals and families across the state will make it far more difficult for Connecticut to recover from the recession. It will aggravate and prolong the hard times and put us at a competitive disadvantage with companies in low tax states when the national economy finally begins to recover.”
“Our alternative budget demonstrates once again that the state’s budget crisis can be resolved without raising taxes,” Representative Noujaim said. “If our proposal – or something very much like it is adopted – there will be some short-term pain, but it will help put us back on the road to recovery and full employment sooner than other states in the northeast. Families and employers throughout Connecticut have cut back their spending and are living within their means. State government should do no less.”
Funding for some state programs would be rolled back to slightly more than 2007 levels under the Republican plan. The budget would be balanced through a series of new revenue streams similar to those adopted or proposed by the majority Democrats and Governor Rell, including:
• A $75 million tax amnesty program.
• $70 million in state asset sales such as unused property.
• Additional securitization of state assets for $125 million.
• $50 million in additional debt collection for individuals and companies that owe the state fees and fines.
• $10 million for cell towers on state buildings.