by State Rep. Dave Yaccarino
As the legislature came to a close on June 3, a controversial proposal was debated that shed light on Connecticut’s strange and one-sided relationship with our state’s job creators and hard-working middle class.
In the final days of the legislative session, a budget filled with major tax hikes on employers and middle class citizens passed with a 73-70 vote – it included an outrageous “unitary” tax. A unitary tax, also known as combined reporting, taxes the out-of-state operations of companies headquartered in Connecticut. This resulted in major companies like Aetna, uncharacteristically respond by expressing the possibility of leaving Connecticut for lower cost states.
Actions speak louder than words, and these actions tell me that we are chasing out our job creators and are certainly not “open for business,” as the once popular saying goes. We simply can’t afford to lose any more jobs.
The legislature was called for a special session on Monday, June 29. This special session was required because the legislature’s majority Democrats left unfinished business on the table when it adjourned the regular session on June 3. We had to return to Hartford to “fix” the Democrats’ budget through a bill called the “budget implementer.” This budget “fix” included creating a “Commission on Economic Competitiveness,” to study how state tax policy impacts employers and to develop policies that promote economic growth. With the inclusion of the Connecticut Business & Industry Association (CBIA) it was established that businesses would have a voice in this effort.
However, the idea that we need to form a blue ribbon panel to examine our state tax policies is laughable. The changes we need to make are simple and fairly obvious. Our businesses want consistent tax and energy policies, which we have yet to give them. Since I’ve been elected to office in 2010, Governor Malloy and the legislative Democrats have implemented the two highest tax increases in state history, meanwhile doing nothing to fix the root problem of our fiscal crisis. We are already spending and taxing too much, while state government grows by the day.
As the size of state government continues to grow, legislative Democrats pass tax changes that hurt all people in Connecticut. Every sales tax exemption the state takes away just further impacts middle class workers. Every new tax and fee imposed on businesses proves that the Majority Party in Hartford doesn’t listen to our job creators or the citizens of the state of Connecticut.
We need greater honesty and transparency in state government or there will soon be no one’s money left to tax. We need to truly listen to our citizens and businesses who tell us every day that they need consistent and fair policies. They are asking that Hartford listen for a change and work to help the middle class and job creators instead of taking them for granted.