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4. Attracting Economic Development
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OpEd | by Suzanne Bates | May 8, 2015 11:36am | CTNewsJunkie.com

Connecticut’s economy is like a ship that is taking on water, and while we all frantically bail it out, the state Democratic budget whistles in like a giant cannonball threatening to blow a big hole right through the bottom.

The $2.4 billion in proposed tax hikes would be devastating to our state’s economy.

We have become the state other states pity because we cannot get our house in order. While other states — including our neighbors — reform and reduce taxes on residents, our lawmakers have decided they must raise taxes again, just four short years after enacting the largest tax hike in the state’s history.

And now we are facing another massive tax hike.

How many signs do our elected leaders need before they realize how bad things are? We have a shrinking population, fewer children, revenues that come in year after year below projections, shrinking home values, and a populace that is unhappy and frustrated by the cost of living here.

Oh, but I’m just being a whiner, right? A complainer. Negative.

No. That is a weak defense, if it is any defense at all.

Those of us who raise the alarm do it because we care enough to raise the alarm. It is not about negativity, it comes from a place of deep concern for this state that we call home. And that concern ultimately springs from a place of love for Connecticut.

Those of us who point out the bad news are as invested in the success of this state as anyone else. We want to see our parents retire here, to see our children find jobs here. We want to stay and build lives here.

But we also want to feel like we are not going to get squeezed for more tax dollars every two years to pay for the ever-growing cost of our state and local governments, with no end in sight.

Those who are advocating for more tax increases say they must have the revenue otherwise they would have to cut services for our most vulnerable citizens — like the developmentally disabled and mentally ill. This is a false narrative. This is not an either-or proposition. There are other ways, other places to cut.

And yes, most of those ways involve shrinking or privatizing parts of state government.

The latest bonding package includes tens of millions of dollars for technology infrastructure. We should do as the Connecticut Institute for the 21st Century suggests and outsource the state’s IT to private providers. Imagine the millions we could save.

And there is still so much waste. The state’s Department of Agriculture is almost $500,000 in the hole because it is paying to house sick — and contagious — goats at a prison instead of euthanizing them.

Sickly prison yard goats — a strange metaphor or bad omen?

Lawmakers have also proposed borrowing $3 million for the Tennis Foundation of Connecticut.

Yes, $3 million is small fries next to the billions we spend, but it is indicative of a larger problem. This state taxes and spends as though it is wealthy, and clearly it is not. Yes, it has wealthy people, and many successful businesses, but the state is broke and in debt because it has not used its resources wisely. To ask for more money to spend in the face of this is galling to many people.

Connecticut’s employers — the people we work for and buy stuff from — are particularly alarmed by the legislature’s budget. This is because it slams them from every angle — from an expansion of the sales tax, to reduced tax credits, to another extension of the corporate surcharge.

CBIA, the state’s largest business association, called an emergency meeting yesterday with stakeholders from across the state to discuss ways to push back. Joe Brennan, the association’s president, has come out strongly in opposition to the legislature’s budget.

“The stuff I’m hearing is scary,” he said. “I hear every day about investment going out of Connecticut.”

The income tax and capital gains surcharge would similarly chase jobs and investment out of the state. For those who would be affected by these tax increases, the effective top tax rate would be 9 percent. As a comparison, New York’s top income tax rate is 8.82 percent. As a state that has historically benefited from having a relatively advantageous tax code compared to our neighbors, this should be alarming.

And in a particularly egregious move, the new tax rules would be applied retroactively, so those affected would see a serious bite out of their remaining paychecks for the year, whether they have bills to pay or not.

What those who support the legislative Democrats’ budget need to realize is that any increased revenues that come from these hikes would be short lived. That is what happened after 2011 — the state saw a year of revenue growth, followed by three years of revenue stagnation, accompanied by deep, damaging deficits.

That is what will happen again if this budget is passed. It would devastate Connecticut’s economy and lead to even greater problems down the road.

And then lawmakers will be back where they started, facing distraught families who could see their state aid cut, and state taxpayers who are already fed up.

Enough is enough. Let’s hope there are Democrats who are brave enough to stand up and speak out against this budget.

If not, it will be up to Gov. Malloy and his veto pen.

Suzanne Bates is the policy director for the Yankee Institute for Public Policy. She lives in South Windsor with her family. Follow her on Twitter @suzebates.

DISCLAIMER: The views, opinions, positions, or strategies expressed by the author are theirs alone, and do not necessarily reflect the views, opinions, or positions of CTNewsJunkie.com.

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by State Sen. Michael McLachlan | February 18, 2015 | Newstimes

Response to the Governor's budget proposal from the business community was swift and harsh. The president of the Connecticut Business & Industry Association, Joseph Brennan said, "I think it strikes a blow at business confidence ...strikes a blow at our recovery."

State government grants to municipalities are essentially flat-funded or down slightly. That means local property tax payers must pick up the inflation costs and that translates into higher local property taxes.

The Governor's budget proposal for the next two years claims to reduce the sales tax. The devil is always in the details. The reality is the budget proposal eliminates sales tax exemptions on clothing and restricts "Tax-Free Week." We pay $57 million more in sales taxes.

Even your garbage collection costs are going up with Governor Malloy as he raises solid waste disposal fees.

Not only do you get more taxes from the Democrats, but you also get a huge "get out of jail free" program. This budget predicts savings of nearly $50 million for releasing prisoners early over the next two years. Has anyone thought about the costs to monitor so many early-release prisoners?

Wait, there's more. Governor Malloy doesn't seem to like our third branch of government -- the Judicial Branch. He proposes stripping over 1,500 employees from the Court Support Services Division and transferring them to the Executive Branch -- now reporting to the Governor. Why is the Governor taking 35 percent of the Judicial Branch's employees?

Transportation was a key focus of Governor Malloy's budget address to the General Assembly. I'll cover this topic in a future post.

I'll keep reading and studying the details of Governor Malloy's budget proposal. So far I see many questions.

State Sen. Michael McLachlan, R-Danbury, represents the 24th District which encompasses Danbury, Bethel, New Fairfield and Sherman. This reaction to the budget proposal is from his blog.

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Get involved!

by admin on February 18, 2015

The New Milford Republican Town Committee is in the process of assembling our slate of candidates for the upcoming municipal elections.
We encourage ANY New Milford Republican who would like to volunteer their time and talent to contact NMRTC Chairman Peter Bass to schedule and interview.
Please email Peter at tykeb1@aol.com.

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Murphy to run for 7th term in New Milford

by admin on February 17, 2015

| New Milford Spectrum

Patricia Murphy

Six-term Republican mayor Patricia Murphy said Monday that she will run for a seventh term in the 2015 election.

“I’ve already told some people,” Murphy said. “There’s a couple of good projects coming up that I’ve worked hard to get the money for. I’m not going to step down now that they’re happening.”

The Century Brass Mill on Scovill Street in New Milford is slated for demolition in the spring with plans to move the Department of Public Works to the site and develop an industrial park on the rest of the 64 acre property.

Some $550,000 in funding is coming from the state for the planned roundabout on Still River Drive at Grove Street and Pickett District Road.

Andy Grossman, chairman of the Democratic Town Committee, gave assurances Monday that the Democrats will have a mayoral candidate in the 2015 race.

“We will be announcing in the next few weeks,” Grossman said. “There will be a Democrat running for mayor in New Milford.”

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Despite Criticism, Katz Endorsed For 2nd Term As DCF Chief

February 17, 2015

  Joette Katz, commissioner of the Connecticut Department of Children and Families, was unanimously endorsed for a second term. (Brad Horrigan / February 11, 2015) by JOSH KOVNER | February 11, 2015 | The Hartford Courant HARTFORD – Two Republican senators roundly criticized her leadership, but Joette Katz held firm against independent oversight and at the […]

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Report: 2014 Project Funding received through Grants, State and Federal sources

January 16, 2015

…for a grand total of $ 5,597,643.00. Funding Source  $ Amount  Description DECD Urban Act $2,200,000 CEC Demolition DOT Local Trans Capital Improvement $1,381,000 Wellsville Ave DOT Local Trans Capital Improvement $590,150 Still River Dr/Pickett Dist Rd Roundabout State Local Bridge Program $499,790 Gaylord Road DECD STEAP Grant $448,334 Bridge St Sidewalk improvements State Local […]

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Americans should not allow GPS tracking of cars

January 13, 2015

By Tammy Bruce | Published December 29, 2014 | FoxNews.com Editor’s note: The following column first appeared in The Washington Times. Watch out — as the new year approaches the powers-that-be always unleash a new hoard of laws, rules and regulations. Already, we’re seeing another Orwellian idea re-emerge from its musty cave: The notion that […]

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Fix the Debt

January 13, 2015

January 7, 2015 | by Rachael Heisler | Campaign to Fix the Debt Fix the Debt has some big plans for 2015, and we want to share them and include you in our efforts. We will host a conference call this coming Tuesday, January 13, 2015, at 4 p.m. EST. Fix the Debt co-Chairs Senator Judd […]

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Representative Bumgardner Sworn Into Connecticut Legislature

January 13, 2015

January 7th, 2015 | by Jamison Bazinet Editor’s note: The article below is about the youngest member of the Connecticut House of Representatives – State Rep. Aundré Bumgardner – an inspiration to us all. This clearly proves that you are never too young or old to make a difference in your community, your state or your country. Come […]

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The Fiscal Speed Bumps Ahead

November 21, 2014

November 18th 2014 | http://www.fixthedebt.org/blog | Congress is trying to wrap up its work for this year in a Lame Duck session and plan for next year. Lawmakers will have to contend with several fiscal speed bumps along the way. Each of these incidents will be an opportunity to either improve upon our fiscal situation, or […]

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Democrats bullying own party members

November 2, 2014

A recent article in the Hartford Current (http://courantblogs.com/colin-mcenroe/i-know-what-you-did-last-november/) reported that the Democratic State Central Committee was sending out “menacing communications”  to Democrats, trying to bully them into voting Democratic in congressional elections this year.  These communications noted in which of the last elections you and your neighbors voted.  It threatens that they will follow up […]

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Democrats’ Tax Plan for New Milford

October 27, 2014

Democratic Candidate for House of Representatives Gale Alexander has proposed a town resident income tax for all New Milford residents.  This is the little mentioned but devastating consequence of his plan to eliminate the property tax.  The Democrats’ tax plan for New Milford would have every person making more than $20,000 per year pay 5.623% […]

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