Connecticut Needs A Responsible Tax Policy That Promotes Economic Growth

April 20, 2009

Connecticut residents understand that tax policy determines our success as a state where businesses are willing to invest and families can thrive. The biggest lesson to be learned from this recession is the need to reinvent state government.

Governor M. Jodi Rell proposed a state budget that would close our multi-billion dollar deficit and provide government services without raising taxes or cutting funding for municipalities or local education.

Democratic leadership countered by proposing the largest tax increase in state history – $3.3 billion. Rather than cut spending, Democrats proposed phasing out the property tax credit, eliminating many sales tax exemptions, and increasing the personal income tax for nearly everyone. Democrats want to raise the income tax on Connecticut’s highest earners to 7.95 percent, and impose a 30 percent surcharge on every profitable Connecticut-based company.

Connecticut citizens already bear among the nation’s highest tax burdens. Many have told me that higher taxes will drive them out of state.

Connecticut’s unemployment rate is predicted to surpass 8%. Over 50,000 lost their jobs in the past six months, including 14,300 who became unemployed in January. State tax revenues are down. Clearly, it makes no sense to pass a budget that would worsen our already precarious fiscal situation by increasing taxes.

As a member of the Finance, Revenue & Bonding Committee, I will work with Governor Rell and Democratic legislators to resolve the existing deficit and pass a responsible budget that helps, not hurts, our state.