HARTFORD – State Representative Tim LeGeyt, of Avon and Canton, joined Republican legislators from the House and Senate on Tuesday to present a “Budget for the Little Guy,” a two-year plan that balances Connecticut’s books without increasing taxes while still making full commitments to municipalities for education and town/city support. This GOP budget, which focuses on individuals instead of institutions, honors the State’s commitment to fund its ongoing pension liabilities without placing the burden on citizens with tax increases on everyday goods and services such as gasoline, back-to-school clothing, non-prescription drugs and haircuts.
The Republican plan is a sound and reasonable alternative to the “tax and spend” plan offered by Democrat Gov. Dannel Malloy, who proposed one of the largest tax increases in state history, as well as hundreds of millions more in state spending, despite Connecticut’s projected $3.5 billion budget deficit.
“Having heard from Avon and Canton residents first hand how unpopular Governor Malloy’s budget was, I am proud to stand with my fellow lawmakers today behind our no tax-increase budget to show there is a better way,” said LeGeyt.
This no-tax-increase balanced budget proposal, offered by Republican legislators, has been vetted by the non-partisan Office of Fiscal Analysis (OFA). Representative LeGeyt called the plan a fiscally and socially responsible solution to the cultural and economic challenges facing our state.
This budget proposal significantly reduces the size and cost of government while protecting the social safety net and preserving state aid to municipalities. This is accomplished by focusing on core government functions, eliminating waste and creating efficiencies.
“As a former teacher, legislation affecting education in the General Assembly is a priority to me. Our budget fully funds municipal and education aid for our cities and towns. Our proposal also includes a common sense approach to state debt. First, there is no borrowing to pay operating expenses and, second, we propose paying off some high interest debt before making payments on lower interest debt. Most people who have several credit cards or loans would pay down their high interest debt first if they can. It’s just common sense and that’s exactly what we do with our debt restructuring plan. This not only saves the state money now in our two-year budget calculations, but will also save our State money in the long run,” said LeGeyt.
Highlights of the Republican Alternative Budget include:
• No new taxes on any business, individual, employer or services or goods.
• Preservation of municipal aid for all towns and cities.
• Enhanced Medicaid fraud detection units that will save our State over $200 million in wrongful payments.
• Savings of more than $46 million through agency consolidations.
• No hospital tax that would increase health care costs.
• State government will be streamlined through attrition and a five percent (5%) reduction in the 54,000 person state payroll.
• No money will be borrowed for day-to-day state operations.
• The $500 property tax credit that Gov. Malloy proposed to abolish is fully maintained.
• 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.
• Restoration of the sales tax amnesty week that every Connecticut consumer can use to support household budgets.
• No increase in the sales tax or its extension to other items such as clothing under $50, non-prescription drugs or haircuts
“Governor Malloy has talked about shared sacrifice, but his budget doesn’t seem to include very much in the way of government sacrifice, especially in light of the tax increases that he proposes to lay onto the citizens and businesses of Connecticut. Taxpayers are tapped out and unemployment is above 9 percent in Connecticut. Those on fixed incomes like unemployment or Social Security can’t afford higher gas prices or higher clothing prices. Legislative Republicans are ready to make the necessary decisions to get Connecticut on the right track. Connecticut has some of the highest debt and highest taxes in the country. At some point the “governmental juggernaut” must be reined in. Some of these proposals mean real cuts that affect real institutions, but in hard times and with our unsustainable debt and unfunded liabilities, we must make real decisions without bankrupting our future. After some hard work and thoughtful crafting, I believe we are able to offer a solution that turns hard times into opportunity,” said LeGeyt.