Republicans urge rejection of state budget deal [CT Post]

June 1, 2015

Article as it appeared in the Connecticut Post

HARTFORD — Even before rank-and-file lawmakers got a closer look at the two-year, $40-billion budget agreement Monday, Republicans and business leaders were calling for a rejection of the deal.

The Fairfield-based giant General Electric issued a statement indicating that a retroactive tax hike on state-based corporate headquarters could lead the company to consider moving from Connecticut.

Senate Minority Leader Len Fasano of North Haven said the proposed tax increases are the second highest in state history, after the record hikes of 2011. He said that while taken singularly they might be acceptable, as a whole, they’re a threat to the state’s business community and middle-class families.

Sen. L. Scott Frantz, R-Greenwich, ranking member of the Finance, Revenue & Bonding Committee, warned that the higher taxes will make other states more attractive to live and relocate businesses.

Sen. Michael A. McLachlan, R-Danbury, said that a moving-and-storage company now for sale in Westport, seems to offer a growth opportunity for those who might want to run a business moving people from the state.

The Connecticut Business & Industry Council asked the rank-and-file on both sides of the aisle to reject the budget compromise, which would raise income taxes on the state’s wealthiest and eliminate the sales tax-free week for clothing purchases.

“This budget proposal clearly sends Connecticut down the wrong path,” said Joe Brennan, president and CEO of CBIA. “Big increases in state spending combined with major tax increases on employers will undermine family income by making the state much less attractive for job growth.” He said that while some Democratic plans to hit accounting and veterinary services were withdrawn from the final product, increases corporate taxes and an increase in the tax on computer services are unacceptable.

“The major changes to our corporate tax, combined with the tripling of the sales tax on computer services, will mean less investment and fewer jobs going forward,” said Brennan. “Connecticut holds itself out as a technology state, an innovation state. Why would we increase a tax on computer services, a tax that most other states don’t even have?”

Fasano, speaking before the tax-writing Finance, Revenue & Bonding Committee met to accept revenue estimates associated with the budget, said that some new taxes, looked at in isolation, aren’t that onerous. He favored the apparent rejection of a .5-percent tax on capital gains.

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