A deep hole and no ladder

May 26, 2015

One after another, in a packed hearing room in Hartford, they stepped to the microphone.

  • A dairy farmer from eastern Connecticut said it would cost his dairy operation an additional $3,810 a year.
  • A veterinarian from Canton warned that 60 percent of all Connecticut households would be negatively impacted.
  • A middle- aged North Haven woman said, “Everyone in our age group is talking non-stop about not when but how do we leave this state.”
  • A Southington CPA said 15 percent of his small business clients have considered leaving Connecticut.

They had come to testify against the massive tax-increase proposal that has been offered by legislative Democrats. Republicans arranged the May 11 hearing at the Capitol after majority Democrats offered taxpayers no opportunity to speak out on the $2.4 billion in taxes they want to add.

More than 100 testified in person. More than 800 submitted testimony at www.NoNewCTTaxes.com and more than 5,700 signed our online petition.

Donald C. McPartland, chairman of the Waterbury Regional Chamber’s public-policy committee, told legislators businesses want stability and transparency in state budgeting; and certainty. The state has a spending cap, he noted, so don’t violate the cap year after year.

Perhaps the most compelling testimony came at the end of the more than seven-hour hearing.

A young married mother of three, a former welfare recipient who had relied on social services during tough times, spoke of how she and her husband had worked their way off public assistance.

“When I look at my paycheck, it makes us wonder if it would just be easier to get back on state insurance, back on WIC, back on Care for Kids, all of that stuff out there,” she said. “And we’re not alone in that feeling. When we continue to see tax increases, it makes us wonder if we’re ever truly going to be able to get out of the hole that we’re in. It seems like a hole — a hole that there isn’t a ladder to climb out of.”

Democrats soon will pass this job-killing, dream-killing tax increase, and Gov. Dannel P. Malloy can’t summon the courage to say he’d veto the bill.

As this scene plays out, find out who your state legislators are.

Have they heard what taxpayers of all ages and backgrounds had to say on May 11?

Are they listening?