Posted on June 4, 2019 by Greg MacKinnon
HARTFORD – State Rep. David T. Wilson (R-Litchfield) stood with his Republican colleagues to oppose the Democrat budget, which came up for debate during Monday’s House session. Legislators were given less than 24 hours to review the document before the Speaker called for a vote. The document is comprised of $752 million in increased taxes over two years, not including the tax on hospitals, and does not provide any financial relief to the state’s nonprofit providers.
“There is no evidence of structural changes, to help create an environment for economic prosperity, anywhere within the document that was approved on a party-line vote,” said Rep. Wilson. “The governor had promised a new way of doing business in Hartford. Before the session got going, I gave him the benefit of the doubt. Now, it’s clear, the new administration and Hartford Democrats are comfortable with the tax and spend pattern that put our state in financial crisis for decades.”
In November of 2018 Connecticut’s electorate voted to amend the state’s Constitution to include a carve out for transportation funding. However, it is clear that taxpayer dollars intended to go into this fund have been diverted to pay for other budgetary needs, not related to transportation projects. This diversion tactic also occurred with money that was earmarked to go to the Passport to Parks program.
Rep. Wilson supported several amendments that would have made the budget a little less onerous on the state’s businesses and taxpayers.
“We were hastily given a 567-page document. Instead of stomping our feet and complaining, my colleagues and I went to work to make this a better bill,” said Rep. Wilson. “Our amendments focused on structural changes to pay down long-term debt, while promoting an environment to allow businesses and residents to both be successful. It is disappointing to me that these changes were thwarted by the majority party, with little to no consideration of their merits.”
The Republican amendments, which failed, 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 Special Transportation Fund to the general fund
“The governor made no attempt to cut spending in his budget plan back in February and the Democrats in the legislature decided to tack on $100 million to his bottom line,’’ Rep. Wilson said. “This reckless tax and spending plan will further add to our decaying state finances, restrict growth and lead to more people and business leaving the state of Connecticut.’’