HARTFORD – State Reps. David Rutigliano (R-123), Laura Devlin (R-134) and Ben McGorty (R-122) and their House Republicans Monday rejected the Democrat budget that raises hundreds of millions in sales taxes, raids the transportation fund to pay for ongoing services and hikes income taxes on thousands of small business owners.
Parking garages, the Internet, dry cleaners, restaurants, plastic bags and scores of other goods and services will all cost Connecticut consumers more beginning July 1 due to sales tax hikes. Thousands of business owners operating as LLCs will pay an estimated $50 million more in income taxes under the Pass Through Entity tax because of the scheme hatched by the majority in order to close an estimated $3 billion deficit over the next two years that is of their making.
The budget passed without a single Republican vote. Overall, taxes were raised by $1.75 Billion over the next two years.
Instead, Republicans offered a series of amendments to reduce government spending, shrink the bloated bureaucracy, privatize certain state agencies, preserve funding for the Special Transportation Fund and keep intact pension exemptions for seniors, as well as send more money for towns and cities. Municipalities would get an additional 5 percent in funding in the second year of the budget.
“Every consumer, every taxpayer gets hit up in this budget,’’ said State Rep. Rutigliano. “The budget is just another hit to the working families of our state which for this legislature unfortunately is par for the course. No new economic direction just the same-old same old.”
“What are we doing? That is what I hear from taxpayers and businesses in my district daily,” said Rep. McGorty. “Instead of passing a lean state budget with bold changes, we get a budget that taxes more and spends more. When are we going to stop this reckless way of governing? If we don’t change the tax and spend way of operating state government we will never see our state economy improve.”
“Every consumer, every taxpayer gets hit up in this budget,’’ State Rep. Laura Devlin said. “This budget increases spending, increases taxes and requires more borrowing. And to make it even worse, it ignores the will of Connecticut voters who overwhelming voted in favor of a Constitutional Transportation Lockbox by diverting money due to be deposited in the Special Transportation Fund.”
The Trumbull Delegation supported amendments relied on spending cuts to the taxpayer funded Citizen Election Program lawmakers rely on to fund their campaigns, furlough days for non-union state employees, privatization of certain agencies that provide social services, reductions in benefits for state retirees.
The Republican amendments included the following:
• Preserve the property tax credits businesses receive operating as LLCs. The Democrats, just a year removed from implementing the credit, reduced it costing taxpayers $50 million in income taxes;
• Block the re-financing of the teachers’ pension fund that will cost the next generation of taxpayers $27 billion more because the payments will be stretched out for an additional 14 years;
• Block the diversion of $171 million over the next two years in new car sales revenue from the STF to the general fund.
Republicans also proposed increasing aid to towns and cities and an omnibus pro-business plan that would be paid for through spending cuts and savings in government programs.
The pro-business amendment had several provisions:
• Repeal the business entity tax;
• Continue the fix on pass though entities;
• The alternative family leave plan that would be optional, private and not a mandatory payroll tax.