HARTFORD — Rep. Rob Sampson joined Republican legislators today in unveiling a budget that respects the will of taxpayers: 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 Sampson and his colleagues is a credible alternative from 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 held town hall forums throughout the state to hear concerns and ideas from taxpayers. Sampson and his House colleagues, however, listened to the common sense feedback. “The hard-working taxpayers I hear from have watched their household bills go up as state spending headed into the clouds,” Sampson said. “It’s a trend that’s not only hard to stomach, but also far worse under the Malloy plan. Residents want, and deserve, a more affordable government.”
The Republican plan does that by curbing an ever-growing government bureaucracy while reducing state spending by more than $1 billion each year—while maintaining core government services in the process.
The plan from Sampson and Republicans does not force sales and income tax increases 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.
“Taxpayers in the towns I represent have heard all about the governor’s version of ‘shared sacrifice’ and, frankly, they just can’t afford it,” Sampson said. “Now, they have a clear choice—follow the governor and pay more to clothe their children and commute to work, or support our blueprint to create a leaner state government that doesn’t raid the wallets of main street businesses at every turn. I think it’s an easy decision.”
Among the steps (view line-by-line here) Republicans used for savings in their “no tax increase” budget:
• The Republican budget cuts spending from Gov. Malloy’s plan by at least $1.2 billion each year.
• Republicans plan to save more than $46 million through agency consolidations
• Government will be streamlined through attrition and modest reductions 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.