HARTFORD — Rep. Richard Smith joined Republican legislators today in unveiling a “budget for the little guy,” a two-year plan that balances Connecticut’s books without increasing taxes on everyday goods and services such as gasoline, back-to-school clothing, non-prescription drugs and haircuts. The plan from Smith and his colleagues is a credible alternative to the controversial plan offered by Democrat Gov. Dannel Malloy, who proposed the largest tax increase in state history as well as roughly $1 billion more in state spending despite Connecticut’s projected $3.5 billion budget deficit. Like Malloy, Republicans attended town hall forums throughout the state to hear concerns and ideas from taxpayers. Smith and his House colleagues, however, listened to the common sense feedback they received. “Household bills for a lot of the people I represent are in the red zone,” Smith said. “Meanwhile, the legislature has increased spending over and over to a point where it’s unsustainable. The governor has asked people to ‘sacrifice’ more—that isn’t an option. Taxpayers want realistic budget proposals they can actually afford.”
The Republican plan does just that by curbing an ever-growing government bureaucracy while reducing state spending in Malloy’s proposal by nearly $3 billion—maintaining core government services in the process.
The plan from Smith and Republicans does not force sales and income tax increase on residents as Malloy proposed, and it protects the $500 property tax exemption upon which so many middle class families throughout Connecticut have come to depend. The proposal also preserves municipal aid—the money cities and towns use to buy school books for children and patch potholes on neighborhood roads.
“The version of ‘shared sacrifice’ my constituents want would have government take a knock for once,” Smith said. “Now, residents have a clear choice—follow our blueprint to create a leaner, more affordable state government or support a proposal from a governor who wants to tax us at every bend in the road.”
Highlights (view line-by-line) of the Republican Alternative Budget include:
• No new taxes on any business, individual, employer, or services or goods.
• Republicans plan to save more than $46 million through agency consolidations.
• State government will be streamlined through attrition and reduction in the 54,000- state payroll.
• No money will be borrowed for day-to-day state operations.
• More than $200 million in the state’s highest cost debt will be pre-paid, thus allowing for greater flexibility in budgeting throughout state agencies.