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State Rep. Michael Ferguson Op-ed: Making CT More Business Friendly

Posted on July 2, 2018 by jdooley


We hear every day that Connecticut’s economy and business community needs a jumpstart and revitalization. That is why I was disappointed after the State Senate voted to sustain Governor Malloy’s veto of an important piece of bipartisan legislation designed to help small businesses and manufacturers across Connecticut, failing to even allow the House of Representatives to take up the bill.

As someone that is a strong supporter of education and skilled labor jobs, I supported a bill, S.B. 261 – An Act Extending the Manufacturing Apprenticeship Tax Credit to Pass-Through Entities – would allow pass-through companies – those set up as S corporations or limited liability companies (LLCs) that pass business profits to the owner and are taxed at his or her individual rate – to utilize the apprenticeship tax credit when filing personal income taxes. The manufacturing apprenticeship credit is equivalent to the lesser of $6 per hour, $7,500, or 50% of the actual apprenticeship wages for each apprentice employed by a given company, and expires on a schedule determined by the length of the apprenticeship. The tax credit is currently available to C Corporations.

This legislation received unanimous approval during the regular session and would have provided access to good-paying jobs and training for hundreds of Connecticut residents.

Unfortunately, the Senate Democrats’ voted in lockstep against this job-creating measure. Their lack of will to oppose their own governor is a failure; for our business community, and the workers and students looking for entry into in-demand, quality careers.

A recent survey of 48 local businesses on behalf of the Connecticut Association of Smaller Manufacturers (CASM) showed that 85% of Connecticut’s small manufacturing businesses are organized as S-corporations or LLCs. Further, 65% of respondents said the tax credit would allow them to hire between 1-3 new employees, and 15% said they could hire more than 4 new employees. This failure to override means approximately 121 new jobs will not be created.

This bill would have encouraged businesses to hire more workers, especially workers coming from vocational training or switching careers. Connecticut needs to stop putting roadblocks up for businesses and prospective employees.

Last week, an opportunity was missed to make Connecticut more business friendly.  Let’s try to not miss any more.