Buyer, beware

November 20, 2013

(The following op-ed from Sen. Kane appeared in the Nov. 20, 2013 edition of the Waterbury Republican-American.)

By Sen. Rob Kane

“What I really look forward to is lowering taxes.” Gov. Dannel P. Malloy said that to business leaders on Nov. 8. Amazingly, the crowd didn’t burst out in howls of laughter.

After all, the governor has given them — and all of us — the largest tax increase in Connecticut history. For those who may have forgotten, or more likely tried to put it out of their minds, here’s a refresher:

Connecticut’s middle-class working families now pay more income taxes. The income tax was raised on individuals making as little as $50,000 annually, and couples making at least $100,000.

That $500 property tax credit you used to take has been reduced to $300. Eighty-eight percent of Connecticut taxpayers who take the property-tax credit have annual incomes of less than $100,000.

A 20 percent corporate income tax surcharge was enacted, so businesses now pay more. Taxes were raised on everyday purchases and luxuries because the sales tax was increased.

The gasoline tax was increased by the largest amount in state history.

Those dozens of tax increases might even affect you after you’re gone. The state’s cremation certificate fee went up to $150.

I bring this up not to depress you, but to remind you of what has happened in our state over the past three years. I bring this up to warn you of the governor’s new attempt to make himself over as someone who really, truly, hopefully wants to lower your taxes at some point in the future.

So, will you buy it? If you do, remember this:

The Malloy administration and the legislature’s nonpartisan budget office are forecasting revenues for the next two-year budget cycle will be $500 million lower than previously projected. To taxpayers, that means we now have a gaping $1.7 billion hole in our state budget in the upcoming biennium.

How do you think that monstrous deficit will be filled if our current governor gets to make the decision?

Our chronic budget problems and annual tax increases only will be solved when we, the people, elect leadership that is willing to cut wasteful state government spending.

We don’t have that leadership now in Connecticut.

State government spending has increased by almost 16 percent since Gov. Malloy took office.