State Senator Len Fasano Condemns Democrats’ Budget Proposal

April 6, 2009

Says Budget Fails to Make Substantial Cuts, Imposes Unaffordable Tax Increases

Hartford, CT – State Senator Len Fasano (R-North Haven) is calling the Democrats’ budget proposal and associated tax increases “a disingenuous and ineffective effort to balance the state’s budget.” The proposal, which passed the Appropriations and Finance committees last week, would raise income, business and sales taxes by more than $3 billion.

“The reality is this budget was put together behind closed doors by a select few political insiders without any sort of input from Republicans or the people who will suffer from these tax increases,” said Senator Fasano. “And looking through the details of their proposal today, it’s no wonder the Majority Democrats didn’t want any input. Their budget levies $3.3 billion dollars in new taxes during one of the most severe economic downturns we’ve seen. These new tax increases will no doubt place an impossible burden on Connecticut residents already struggling to make ends meet.”

The Democrat budget proposal creates an automatic tax increase on the middle-class by phasing out the property tax credit for middle-class taxpayers and by repealing a number of sales tax exemptions including those for child car seats, bicycle helmets and college textbooks. The proposal also calls for substantial borrowing to close the projected shortfalls.

“This budget is the exact opposite of what we should be doing,” said Senator Fasano. “The Democrats have said ‘No’ to real cuts, ‘No’ to legislative pay reductions, ‘No’ to agency consolidation, and ‘No’ to streamlining state government through an early retirement incentive program (ERIP). Instead, they have taken the easy way out, raising taxes and borrowing money. They have chosen to balance the budget on the backs of Connecticut’s hardworking taxpayers, their children and grandchildren. It’s just plain wrong.”

Senator Fasano also noted that the spending plan put forth by the Democrats does not responsibly deal with the current Fiscal Year 09 (FY09) budget deficit which the state Comptroller put at more than $1 billion dollars.

“How on earth can we responsibly deal with the more than $8 billion dollar deficit we face over the next two years when we haven’t even begun to deal with this year’s deficit?,” said Senator Fasano. “For months we have been calling for an open and bipartisan dialogue on our state budget and Republicans have put forth a number of solutions to this economic crisis. Majority Democrats refused to work with us. I hope that going forward we are able to work in an open and collaborative manner and resolve our state’s fiscal problems together.”