Fairfield Legislators Oppose State Budget [Fairfield Patch]

July 1, 2015

Fairfield Patch

Submitted press release

State Senator Tony Hwang (R-28) along with State Reps. Brenda Kupchick (R-132) and Laura Devlin (R-134) denounced the passage of a state budget that increases taxes by $1.4 billion on the middle class and property owners, and hinders job-creating businesses despite weeks of outcry from both residents and business owners across the state.

S.B. 1502 – An Act Implementing Provisions of the State Budget for the Biennium Ending June 30, 2017 Concerning General Government, Education and Health and Human Services – passed the House of Representatives by a vote of 78 to 65, with only two House Democrats voting against the tax and spend plan and the State Senate by a vote of 19-17 with two Senate Democrats voting no.

After considerable pressure and public outcry from taxpayers and businesses around the state, the Governor and majority party made small changes to their original budget passed on June 3rd, including roll backs of only 10 percent of the original $1.8 billion in tax hikes that directly impact the middle class and businesses. The Democrats paid for much of the tax rollbacks by diverting more than $100 million in additional revenue from sales tax increases that were intended to go to towns and cities.

Rep. Kupchick said, “We owe the people who have placed their trust in us a honest and bipartisan process. This budget is a direct result of one party rule. We cannot keep beating up businesses and corporations, who provide jobs, pay local property taxes, play significant roles in our communities and fuel other smaller companies. Business owners simply can’t plan or feel comfortable expanding and new companies wouldn’t be attracted to Connecticut in this environment. Bottom line, people can’t stay in Connecticut if they can’t find a job. This isn’t Republican rhetoric, its simple math.”

“After passing the largest tax increase in the state’s history $1.8 billion in 2011, this budget raises taxes by another $1.4 billion on the already struggling middle class. When is enough, enough? This budget does nothing to reassure the business community that Connecticut is a friend, if anything this budget is downright hostile to the job-creators in our state,” said Rep. Devlin. “What is even more egregious is that the budget implementer that passed was full of rewards and favors to members who supported to bill and voted the party-line.”

“For our seniors, our children, our businesses, and all residents of Connecticut, I simply could not support a budget that is so fundamentally flawed,” Sen. Hwang said. “Even with the Democrat’s modest retreat on taxes, the $40 billion budget still carries the second highest tax increase in our state’s history and it has already tarnished our national reputation. We cannot continue to increase spending and borrowing every year and tax our way out of deficits – it simply doesn’t work, and the residents of Connecticut cannot afford it.”

“But this is not the end of the road by any means,” Sen. Hwang added. “I still believe in the greatness of our state and I will continue to fight to put Connecticut on a better and brighter path forward.”

One of the most controversial measures is implementation of a “unitary tax” that requires corporations to pay taxes on companies they run out of state. This was a tax Fairfield-based GE objected to and asked that the state not pass or they would consider leaving the state. In an effort to appease companies threatening to relocate out of state because of the increased tax burden, that unitary tax, originally set to be retroactive to last Jan. 1, has been delayed to Jan. 1, 2016, a small change that does little to address the fundamental issues or provide relief to Connecticut employers.

To read the entire bill, visit here.