McKinney: “We do not need one time gimmicks, we need permanent tax relief”

January 30, 2014

State Senate Minority Leader John McKinney (R-Fairfield) made the following comments today in response to Governor Malloy’s plan for the FY14 excess revenue:

“Republicans have long advocated paying down state debt, shoring up our rainy day fund, and providing tax relief, but details and context matter. Here is some context the governor seems to forget:

1. “Governor Malloy passed the largest middle-class tax hike in state history, including a sales tax rate increase from 6.0 percent to 6.35 percent, the elimination of countless sales tax exemptions, an increase in state gas taxes, an income tax hike, and a $200 property tax credit reduction. In the face of those deep and permanent tax hikes, this one-time election year rebate simply does not cut it.

“Working families, small businesses and our economy in general need tax relief, but that relief should be permanent. If the governor believes, as I do, that Connecticut families need real relief from his high sales taxes and gas taxes, then make the necessary spending cuts and lower the sales tax and gas tax permanently.

“A one-time ‘sales and gas tax rebate’ from the governor who gave us permanent tax hikes in both the sales and gas tax is the height of hypocrisy.”

2. “Connecticut faces a $2 billion deficit in FY15 and FY16. It is irresponsible for the governor to continue talking about this year’s so-called ‘surplus’ as if those deficits do not exist. They do, and we need to deal with them in this legislative session by reducing the size and cost of government.”

3. “Governor Malloy has borrowed more than $1.5 billion to pay for operating expenses and the state’s bonded indebtedness has increased $1.1 billion since he took office. Paying down our debt, especially our long-term pension liability, should be a top priority. I would urge the governor to deposit more money into the pension fund and debt reduction and less into the rainy day fund because those savings amortize over time.”