Rutigliano and Devlin denounce ‘job killing’ state budget

State Reps. David Rutigliano and Laura Devlin (R-134) in Hartford.

State Reps. David Rutigliano and Laura Devlin (R-134) denounced the passage of a state budget that they say 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.

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 June 3, including roll backs of only 10 percent of the original $1.8 billion in tax hikes that directly impact the middle class and businesses, according to the Republican legislators. 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, according to a press release from Rutigliano and Devlin.

“They’re expecting that Connecticut residents will have a short-term memory, and won’t remember these tax increases for the next election in 2016,” Rutigliano said. “Here’s some news: they’re going to remember, because over the next year, there will be layoffs and businesses will be closing their doors. They ignored the Connecticut businesses and residents who pleaded with them to rethink this budget. They ignored our budget that would have eliminated the deficit without raising taxes. It will be hard for them to ignore not being re-elected, but that may be the only way to fix our state’s ongoing budget mess.”

“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,” Devlin added. “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.

“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,” she said.

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.

The special session was required because the Democratic-led legislature left unfinished business on the table when it adjourned June 3.

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