HARTFORD – House Republican Leader Vincent Candelora (R-North Branford) and Senate Republican Leader Kevin Kelly (R-Stratford) released the following statement in response to misstatements made by CT Democratic leaders this week regarding CT Republican calls for further tax relief and assistance:
“Over the last few days CT Democratic leaders have rejected our calls for a special session to deliver greater relief to CT families as inflation surges. Instead, they’ve dodged questions with outright lies about CT Republicans and state finances.
“Here are the facts about our proposal to make CT more affordable by providing energy assistance and cutting the income tax, sales tax, food tax, and diesel tax. Lawmakers and Governor Lamont have the power to ease financial burdens on all CT residents. So why are Democrats refusing to act?”
CT Democrats are not ‘doing everything’ they can do to ease the pain from inflation.
CT has a $750 million budget surplus. These dollars can be sent back to taxpayers in the form of tax relief without any budget cuts and while preserving historic additional investments to pay down on state debt. Democrats only gave limited one-time-rebates to a select few – and they consider that good enough. But it’s not enough relief, especially when they are leaving $750 million on the table untouched. Not only are they refusing to give the surplus back, but they are also increasing taxes. A 23% increase in the diesel tax hits on July 1, and a truck tax on Jan 1, together these new tax increases will only add to inflation by increasing the cost of goods, groceries, and services. These are taxes the state does not need, but Democrats are not even trying to stop them. What government asks its citizens for more taxes when it has a historic surplus? Connecticut.
CT Republicans proposed historic tax relief during session, and every Democrat voted in lockstep against it.
CT Republicans did not wait until after session to propose relief as Democrats falsely claim. We proposed a $1.2 billion tax relief package – more than double what Democrats offered – during the legislative session. We ran a 50+ page amendment fully detailing our budget adjustment including how we would fund the relief and held a vote on our proposal. Every Democrat in the state legislature voted in lockstep against $1.2 billion in tax relief.
CT Republicans offered a budget adjustment, just as CT Democrats did, even though there was no need for an adjustment. Last year, Republicans and Democrats approved a bipartisan two-year budget together, which remained balanced and in surplus this year. Adjustments are only needed if a budget is in deficit, but Democrats wanted to spend more. Republicans want to deliver far greater relief to struggling families.
Our tax relief plan is responsible and makes massive additional payments to pension debt.
Our plan does not touch our rainy-day fund, it requires no budget cuts or program elimination, and it makes an additional $2.85 billion payment to our state’s pension debt, for a total investment of nearly $5.8 billion this year. We can pass this additional tax relief now, and still contribute a historic amount in additional payments to ease state debt, resulting in future savings of up to $400 million annually.
Republicans are fighting to protect our financial caps, Democrats are not.
The Republican budget amendment would extend the state’s bond lock, the single most important way we protect and prevent politicians from abandoning our spending cap, bonding cap, volatility cap and revenue cap – the very caps that resulted in healthier state finances and a historic rainy-day fund. Every CT Democrat voted in lockstep against preserving these protections which expire next year. If CT Democrats want to talk about long term finances and responsible policy, why did they vote against these protections?
“Every day our state is becoming more unaffordable for our residents as inflation is straining our family budgets. The legislature has the power to ease this pain if we come together now and vote on a relief package. Simply put our plan returns over collected tax revenues back to you, CT families, at a time when it’s needed most,” said Kelly and Candelora. “Do you think CT is still unaffordable? Do you think residents need further relief? Go to affordableconnecticut.com and sign the petition calling for a special session today and watch for and join our rallies across CT.”
- SAT., JUNE 18: Newtown, 9:00-11:00 am, Blue Colony Diner 66 Church Hill Rd.
- TUES., JUNE 21: Enfield, 4:30-5:30 pm, Corner of North Main St & Enfield St
- WED., JUNE 22: Stamford, 4:30-5:30 pm, Stamford Government Center, 888 Washington Blvd
- FRIDAY, JUNE 24: Niantic, 5:00-6:00 pm, Guy’s Oil 87 W Main Street
- SAT., JUNE 25: Plainville, 11:00am-Noon, Mobil Recharge Gas Station 136 East Main St