State Representatives Whit Betts (R-78) and Cara Pavalock (R-77) voted against the Democrat-negotiated budget package that includes $1.5 billion in tax hikes on Connecticut’s middle-class, bases revenue on gambling projects like keno and increases taxes on struggling hospitals, according to a press release from House Republicans.
Betts and Pavalock along with fellow Republican lawmakers “vigorously” opposed the governor and Democrat-majority negotiated budget which includes the second largest tax increase in Connecticut’s history, said the news release. The largest tax increase, amounting to $1.8 billion, was passed by the majority party Democrats back in 2011, said the GOP news release.
“This budget is an incentive for families and businesses to move out of this state. The response to this tax package from major employers like GE, Aetna, IBM, and Travelers among others has been blunt and frightening. They are now re-examining whether they can justify keeping their businesses and jobs in Connecticut. My worst fear is that the exodus of our families and friends will accelerate as these new taxes may force them to find a state that is more affordable in which to live,” said Betts, according to the news release.
The Democrats’ budget significantly increases taxes that will directly hurt the middle class, the Republican news release said. While the sales tax remains at 6.35 percent, the release said, the clothing and footwear exemption for items under $50 has been removed. Additionally, the property tax credit will be reduced from $300 to $200 beginning in FY17.
“This budget is an absolute insult to the taxpayers of this state. This document is proof that the majority party continues to balance the state budget on the backs of the hardworking people of Connecticut. At a time when people are working paycheck to paycheck, it is unconscionable to continue to ram the second highest tax increase in our state’s history through the legislature when the people of our state continue to plead for relief because they are already taxed to death,” Pavalock said, according to the news release
Republicans put forth several amendments on the House Floor to reflect the demands of the taxpayers, but were defeated, the release reported. Those include providing a supplemental grant of $46 million to hospitals, repealing the 12 percent salary increases issued by the governor for his administration, restoring the exemption on clothing and footwear under $50, and restoring the exemption for unitary tax on corporations.
Referencing the Republican alternative budget, “Blueprint for Prosperity,” the release said Betts and Pavalock pledged to continue proposing positive alternatives and policies that will lead to the creation of jobs and lower taxes. “We remain committed to restoring Connecticut’s reputation as a great place in which to work and raise a family,” the release quoted the pair.