Greenwich Delegation Condemns Democrats’ Budget Plan

April 3, 2009

Hartford, CT – The General Assembly’s Greenwich delegation this week condemned the Democrats’ budget proposal. The delegation says this proposal will only increase corporate and estate taxes while eliminating many sales tax exemptions, taking particular aim at Fairfield County.

Rep. Fred Camillo and Sen. Scott Frantz, both members of the Appropriations Committee voted against a proposed two-year state budget offered by the Democrat members of the Appropriations Committee, a proposal which includes no real spending cuts and no real reduction in the size of state government.

Rep. Lile Gibbons and Rep. Livvy Floren, members of the legislature’s Finance, Revenue and Bonding Committee, voted against a tax package which includes the largest tax increase in Connecticut’s history.

Under Democrat proposals, the current highest state income rate of 5 percent would increase to 6 percent for couples filing jointly who earn more than $250,000 annually; to 7 percent for those earning more than $500,000; to 7.5 percent on income above $750,000; and for incomes above $1 million, 7.95 percent.

The tax plan approved along party lines also included a thirty percent surcharge on corporate income and a thirty percent surcharge on the already punitive estate and gift taxes. All tax increases would be retroactive to January 1, 2009.

Rep. Lile R. Gibbons of Old Greenwich said, “I am both dismayed and saddened that the Democrat leadership has rolled out a revenue plan with such huge tax increases they only encourage businesses and residents to leave the state. If limited tax increases were part of an overall plan to reduce spending and downsize government, we could at least begin the budget conversion. But to have this budget plan sprung on us with a vote on the same day, is unacceptable.”

“Not only does this budget levy an impossible tax burden on Connecticut residents, particularly those in Fairfield County, it also takes a direct shot at the financial health of our businesses and sends a message to our employers that they are less welcome than ever before,” said Senator Frantz. “It does this by putting into effect a debilitating 30% surcharge on corporate profits over the next three years. This is the opposite of what we should be doing – we need to be doing everything we can to assure the financial success of those entities so they remain in a position to offer employment. Also, I am incredibly disappointed that the majority party has proposed a 30% increase on the estate tax rate. These two proposals do nothing but give families, individuals and companies good reason to move elsewhere. Your delegation will fight these proposals vigorously.”

According to a Quinnipiac University poll taken last month, by a 67-23 percent margin, Connecticut residents overwhelmingly support spending cuts – not tax increases – to balance the state budget and wipe out the projected $8 billion deficit over the next two years.

Rep. Camillo said, “How can I look someone in the eye and say that we did the best we could to not raise their taxes when no heavy lifting was done to balance the budget first? This was the lazy way out and not what I came to Hartford for.”

“They simply ignore reality: Connecticut cannot afford or sustain broad tax increases at a time when people are losing their jobs and revenue across the board is vanishing,’’ Floren said.