Sampson: Budget Deficit Jeopardizes Local Government Services

HARTFORD—Slumping state revenues could push Connecticut’s already-fragile financial outlook deeper into the red zone, threatening municipal budgets and the taxpayers that fund them, State Rep. Rob Sampson said today.

Estimates from analysts this week about revenues reveal the state faces a year-end budget deficit of at least $365 million–and, even worse, deficits of roughly $1 billion in each of the next two fiscal years.

“Unfortunately, none of this comes as a surprise. I voted against the Governor’s two-year budget plan in 2011, precisely because I was afraid of the further damage that would be done to our state’s economy by continuing on the same path of wasteful spending and ever increasing taxes. This ballooning deficit now threatens everything from education funding to the money used to repair our roads in Wolcott and Southington,” said Sampson, a member of the legislature’s Appropriations Committee.

Growing concern over the shortfall comes in the run-up to the two-year anniversary of Gov. Dannel Malloy’s call for “shared sacrifice,” a plan that blended record tax hikes on residents and businesses and amazingly a 7% increase in government spending despite the large deficits that loomed even then.

Among the new projections from analysts are an anticipated $43 million decrease in sales and use tax revenue and a $66 million decrease in corporation tax collections.

“This is a prime example of why you can’t tax your way out of budget problems,” said Sampson, who now fears that a lack of meaningful state spending reductions in the last budget cycle will see core government services face significant pressure as the governor searches for emergency solutions to today’s problems. Our state simply can’t afford to spend money as the governor planned.”

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