“The people would thank us if we waited.”

May 4, 2011

Hartford, CT – In the dawn hours of Tuesday, Senator Joe Markley (R-Southington) voted No against the Democratic proposed budget. The vote tally was 19 to 17, with three Democrats joining the Republicans in voting down the tax hike.

“This is the defining vote of our two years here. Our duty is to have a distance and look at this from a broader place,” said Senator Markley. “Where are we headed? Are we going to the right place?”

On Tax Freedom Day the Senate passed the largest tax hike in state history. The irony should not be lost on Connecticut residents. Tax Freedom Day measures how long Americans work to earn enough money to pay this year’s tax obligations at the federal, state and local levels. Connecticut is the last state in the nation to reach Tax Freedom Day: 122. We spend 122 days working to pay our taxes.

Senator Markley votes against largest tax hike in state history

“The Governor’s vision is wrong. The largest tax increase in state history is not what the people want,” said Senator Markley. “I fear we will lose jobs and will be hurting ourselves for years to come.”

The Democratic sales tax hike will be felt most by middle income families and businesses that pay more than 50 percent of all sales taxes in Connecticut.

After listening to constituents concerns at a number of Town Hall Meetings, the Republicans have offered changes. The consistent message at those meetings was ‘Don’t raise our taxes – instead, cut state spending.’

Highlights of the Republican Alternative Budget include:

  • No new taxes on any business, individual, employer, service or good.
  • More than $1.5 billion in spending cuts from Gov. Malloy’s plan.
  • Preservation of municipal aid at current levels for all towns and cities.
  • More than $46 million in savings through agency consolidations.
  • No borrowing for state operating expenses.
  • Full restoration of the $500 property tax credit cut by Gov. Malloy.
  • Restoration of the sales tax free week to help Connecticut consumers support household budgets.

The no tax increase alternative budget was voted down by the General Assembly.
The House later approved the tax increase package, but there are still $2 billion in union concessions unaccounted for in this budget. It will be the Governor’s responsibility to come up with a proposal to make up for any gap left after negotiations. The legislature is then required to approve or reject the plan. The session does not end until June 8th.

“We still have time. Nothing valuable can be lost if we take our time. The people would thank us if we waited,” added Senator Markley.