State Senator Tony Hwang Statement on Democrat Tax & Spend Budget Proposals

May 2, 2019


State Senator Tony Hwang released the following statement after the release of the Democrat Appropriations and Finance, Revenue & Bonding Committees Budget proposals and the partisan, party line votes to approve.

“The Democratic leadership’s proposed legislation and their partisan vote to approve the Finance, Revenue & Bonding (Taxation SB 877) and Appropriations (Spending HB 7148) Committee budgets this week were sincerely disappointing. The Appropriations budget did, however, restore critical funding included in the bipartisan budget for mental health & substance abuse treatment and local education. I am also happy to see that the Finance Committee’s budget eliminates the gift tax and the business entity tax, and phases-out the capital base tax that has made it difficult for startups to thrive in our state. But that’s about where my praise ends.”

“Ultimately, both budget proposals indicate that we are back to the old days of reckless tax & spend policies. Despite having made significant bipartisan progress over the last two years, resulting in surplus for this fiscal year, a higher bond rating, and a robust Rainy Day Fund, we are unfortunately moving backwards.”

“With over $1 billion in new taxes and no demonstrated reduction in government cost or increase in efficiencies, Connecticut residents are about to be hit with another tax increase alongside higher property taxes as a result of the shift of Teacher Pension costs to municipalities. I warned this increased property tax burden would happen at the beginning of the session, and I will continue to fight against its implementation. Both budget proposals are based on questionable math and are irresponsible, unbalanced, and apparently forget the momentum we have gained operating under the bipartisan budget. This decision, reminiscent of the Malloy era, has not worked for Connecticut in the past, and it won’t move our state forward today.”

“Adding new spending when we are facing a deficit over $3 Billion over the same two years makes absolutely no sense. Furthermore, this budget focuses on unlikely savings to balance itself, and rejects the Governor’s own ‘debt diet’. We should be looking for serious and real savings and partnering with the private sector to create more efficiencies in Government. We have some major work ahead of us, but I refuse to support any budget that does not learn from our past mistakes and our current successes. By working in a genuine bipartisan manner over the last two years Connecticut was able to grow our economy, not raise taxes, and prepare for our future. I hope we can continue these successes, but the budget proposal before us today does not move in the right direction.”