Sen. Hwang calls for immediate repeal of Unitary Tax

Sen. Tony Hwang (R-28)

Sen. Tony Hwang (R-28)

With reports that Connecticut Gov. Dannel P. Malloy is working on a plan to keep GE in Connecticut, Sen. Tony Hwang (R-28) today called for the immediate repeal of the Unitary Tax and an accelerated roadmap for specific recommendations to make the state a better home for all businesses.

“It is high time we start taking measurable and necessary steps to keep GE here in Fairfield and Connecticut,” said Sen. Hwang, whose district includes Fairfield, where GE maintains its corporate headquarters. “While I am encouraged that Governor Malloy is reportedly putting together a plan to accomplish that, and I look forward to learning more about the specifics, we cannot afford to look at this in a vacuum.”

“We must remember that GE is but one of thousands of businesses in Connecticut – and all of them are feeling the same built-up frustration about the untenable nature of state government’s spending, taxation and regulation,” Sen. Hwang said. “As such, today I am urgently requesting Gov. Malloy to fast-track the work of the newly created Commission on Economic Competitiveness and to order an immediate repeal of the Unitary Tax, which was cited by nearly every major Connecticut-based corporation as universally damaging to their ability and willingness to continue to operate in our state.”

The Commission’s statutory charge, as approved during the 2015 Special Session, is:

Sec. 498. (NEW) (Effective from passage) (a) There is established a Commission on Economic Competitiveness to analyze the implications of state tax policy on state business and industry and to develop policies that promote economic growth. In addition, the commission shall: (1) Examine and report on the implications of the tax revisions set forth in public act 15-244, as amended by this act, on state business and industry; (2) examine the needs of large and small state businesses and industries as relates to their ability to maintain economic competitiveness; and (3) offer legislative recommendations that promote the growth and prosperity of state business and industry, including, but not limited to, recommendations relating to state tax policy.

“It is absolutely imperative that this Council and the task at hand not be politicized or bogged down in bureaucracy, and it would be my hope and expectation that all members keep their higher purpose in mind as they go about this critical work,” Sen. Hwang said. “Furthermore, given the urgent nature of this matter, I propose that the Commission be tasked with issuing its recommendations ahead of the next legislative session, in January 2016, so that members of the General Assembly may consider, hold public hearings, and act upon any items that require legislative action.”

“It is crystal clear that we are competing with other states – near and far – for jobs. And in our rapidly evolving, technologically driven and highly competitive economy, it is incumbent upon us as elected leaders to remain on the cutting edge, to invest smartly and responsibly in emerging growth markets, and most importantly, to have tax and public policies that promote entrepreneurship and innovation and send a message to businesses that Connecticut is the best place in the country to live and work,” Sen. Hwang said. “We must move with a sense of urgency, yet we also must be methodic in our actions and ensure that the steps we take today leave us all poised for greater prosperity tomorrow.”

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