Ulbrich Stainless Steel of Wallingford Hosts Legislative Roundtable to Discuss State Budget, Decry Proposed Tax Increases

August 25, 2009
Senator Fasano poses a question at a roundtable discussion with business leaders in Wallingford

Senator Fasano poses a question at a roundtable discussion with business leaders in Wallingford

Wallingford, CT – Senate Minority Leader Pro Tempore Len Fasano (R-34), State Representative Vin Candelora (R-86) and other Republican legislative leaders today met with executives and employees at Ulbrich Stainless Steel in Wallingford to discuss the state budget and highlight the harmful impact the Democrats’ proposed $1.8 billion tax increase would have on Connecticut small businesses. Chief Operating Officer Chris Ulbrich told legislators it is the wrong time to impose income tax hikes and profits surcharges on the state’s primary job creators. He said Ulbrich has recently undergone significant layoffs and has imposed a one week furlough per month policy to cut costs and help weather the current recession. He wants state government to do the same.

“For three generations my family has kept this business successfully running in Wallingford, North Haven and around the world, but due to the worst economic slump since the Great Depression, we’ve had to make some very difficult cuts,” said Ulbrich. “We’ve laid off 45 people since last November, cut back on benefits and significantly reduced our spending. Yet, when I look at the state of Connecticut and the massive budget deficit we’re facing I am shocked to see almost no similar cuts or reductions. Instead I see a proposal for tax increases that would hack away at businesses throughout the state. Not only do we need a responsible budget, but we need leaders in the legislature who can make the tough choices and work together. The legislature must keep these taxes from moving forward by cutting spending and reduce the size of government.”

Ulbrich Stainless Steels & Special Metals process alloys and serve markets such as aerospace, aircraft and automotive, nuclear and solar energy, medical and surgical equipment, chemical processing, electronics and many others. The company processes stainless steel, nickel alloy and titanium alloy. The company’s specialty strip mill is located in Wallingford, CT.

Republican legislators and small business owners from across the state have been fighting proposed tax hikes for months, arguing that the best budget for the state of Connecticut is one that reduces spending, eliminates government waste and does not raise taxes. State Senator Len Fasano and State Representative Vin Candelora today reiterated their commitment to protecting working families and small businesses as state budget negotiations continue.

“Ulbrich has been a Wallingford institution providing top tier jobs and benefits to its employees for decades. In fact, it isn’t unusual to see second and third generations of families staying with Ulbrich,” said Senator Fasano. “But unfortunately, if these new corporate taxes move forward, the state will effectively turn its back on a company that has been a solid member of the business community for almost 90 years. Ulbrich is already doing what it can to cut down on costs with furloughs and cuts to benefits. State government owes it to them, and the countless businesses like them, to do the same in order to avoid these damaging tax hikes.”

“Traveling around the state, it is clear that we can no longer conduct state government as business as usual. Connecticut has become anti-business, in many ways. We are pushing jobs, and the tax benefits from those jobs, away instead of drawing them to us. Our spending is out of control, and the legislature must adjust to the economic reality we are facing,” said Representative Candelora.

Other members of the local business community in attendance included: Robin Wilson, president of the Quinnipiac Chamber of Commerce; Jon Paul Venoit, representing Masonicare at Ashlar Village; and Ron Hansen Jr. and Rick Griffen from Component Engineers.

Senate Republican Leader John McKinney (R-28), House Republican Leader Lawrence F. Cafero (R-142), and Deputy House Republican Leader Themis Klarides (R-114) also participated in the roundtable. In recent weeks, Republican Leaders have participated in several similar forums throughout the state in order to give small business owners and working families a voice in the ongoing budget negotiations.