On the last day Connecticut residents have to mail in their tax bills, State Rep. Jan Giegler (R-138) and her fellow House Republicans unveiled their 2011 budget that erases the $736 million deficit for 2011 without raising taxes by consolidating government agencies and shrinking the public workforce and commits $74 million to stimulate job growth.
The balanced plan preserves municipal and school aid, and sets aside $74.5 million to incentivize job growth. Companies that hire the unemployed can earn $17.5 million in tax credits, and the plan establishes a $25 million small business revolving loan fund, and eliminates the Business Entity Tax.
“Our state’s economy has been stagnant for years, dating back to before the start of the current recession, due to the levels of taxation and spending here in Connecticut,” said Rep. Giegler. “This budget will not only close the deficit for the 2011 fiscal year, but will also send a signal to job creators that Connecticut is once again going to be a destination that welcomes businesses and economic activity.”
The hallmarks of the savings plan:
• $58 million in line item cuts to 2009 levels;
• $64 million in early retirement for state workers;
• $10 million in state agency consolidations;
• $6.4 million to shed state office leases;
• $20 million in privatization of state functions;
• $150 million in state worker concessions, including wage freezes, furlough days and health care;
• $3.8 million in legislative pay cuts, elimination of franked mail and travel.
The budget also makes significant investments in job creation and retirement security:
• $200 million will be paid into the state employee pensions;
• The Business Entity Tax is eliminated to save companies $32 million;
• A Small Business Revolving Loan Fund of $25 million is created;
• Tax credits of up to $17.5 million will be available to companies that hire off unemployment rolls.
Republicans outlined a variety of small and large potential savings in the state work force, including all state workers having wages frozen for one year, which would save $183 million, and one furlough day, which would result in a $9 million savings.