Representative T. R. Rowe (R-123) today expressed concern about the levels of taxing and increased spending in Governor Dannel Malloy’s proposed budget, and said it set the wrong priorities for the State of Connecticut while wasting an opportunity to fundamentally restructure state government and make government live within its means.
Rowe said the governor’s proposal spends $900 million more over the next two years, according to Malloy’s own budget director Ben Barnes. The budget increases income and sales taxes by $3.4 billion over two years squarely on the middle class who are already squeezed in this economic crisis.
“Governor Malloy asked us today to take the ‘road less travelled’ with him. Unfortunately, the road toward more government and higher taxes is a well-worn path in this state,” said Representative Rowe. “I do appreciate the fact that the governor has put together a budget that is free of gimmicks and one-time revenues. However, the concept of ‘shared sacrifice’ the governor has been advocating apparently refers only to the middle class in an effort to preserve government largely as it is. With taxes increasing on everything from their income and the gas they buy to get to work to the clothing on their backs, this budget squanders the best chance we have to help residents who are struggling in this economy.”
Rowe noted that while neighboring states are making the tough decisions and cutting the size and scope of state government they are doing so without calling for higher taxes.
“While other states are recognizing that government needs to live within its means, Connecticut will apparently be defying that trend,” said Representative Rowe. “The governor is offering a mere 0.3% reduction in the state workforce to the tune of $10 million. I think we can do better and we need to do better.”
Rowe did praise the governor for seeking concessions from unions in the amount of $1 billion and his effort to get more rescission authority, as well as the fact that the budget does not cut aid to municipalities which could result in greater property tax increases.