Witkos: “I am hoping the governor keeps his promise, vetoes the budget” [WFSB]

June 24, 2015

HARTFORD, CT (WFSB) -Another state is trying to lure away Connecticut companies.

Florida is running a radio advertisement and its governor is visiting the state this week to make a play for businesses.

This comes as Connecticut business groups urge state lawmakers to roll back tax hikes.

The budget now on the table includes higher business taxes and Gov. Dannel Malloy said he is ready to roll those taxes back, but time is running out since the special session is next week.

After big Connecticut businesses like Aetna, GE and Travelers said they may leave because of higher taxes, other states are trying to lure them in.

“It’s a sobering and difficult conversation … these companies are serious,” said Joe Brennan of the Connecticut Business and Industry Association.

The Connecticut Business and Industry Association has spoken with the companies and put out their own radio advertisement telling lawmakers to roll back tax hikes.

Malloy said he is proposing lowering some of the taxes but he has to convince Democratic lawmakers.

A new report by Ernst and Young shows Connecticut’s total business taxes are the second lowest in the nation, but “results of this study should not be interpreted as a low tax environment. Considering both household and business tax collection – Connecticut is 57 percent higher than the nation.”

“I’ve called for changes – I’ve outlined what those changes are – now people can appreciate how hard it is to get an agreement,” Malloy said.

While the governor and Democrats want lower property taxes, business leaders and Republicans questioned if corporate taxes should be raised to pay for it.

“I am hoping the governor keeps his promise, vetoes the budget and we go back to the drawing board,” said state Sen. Kevin Witkos, Republican minority leader.

Democrats are expected to caucus on Tuesday and in one week lawmakers go back into special session.