On the Issues
The Connecticut State Income Tax
Connecticut faces a budget crisis and our residents must choose between suffering or moving out of state. The state income tax is the primary driver of Connecticut becoming less competitive and less affordable. More than 235,000 people have left our state, taking $13.7 billion in taxable income with them. This trend seems to verify the old adage, “you can’t tax your way to prosperity.” Since the implementation of the state income tax, Connecticut has become less affordable for residents and much more anti-business than our neighboring states.
For the last 40 years, the Democrats have controlled the state legislature and have recklessly spent the state’s tax revenues. In 1991-92, the state budget totaled $7.6 billion. The 2016-2017 budget clocked in at $19.76 billion. Even after adjusting for inflation, this explosion in government spending has been devastating to our state’s economy. This outrageous spending was made possible by the implementation of the state income tax.
It is time to do away with the state income tax. I have a phased plan to remake state government and lower the income tax until it is completely eliminated.
Job growth climbed more than twice as fast in those states without income taxes, compared to the states with the top income tax rates. Blue chip companies like GE and Aetna flourished during the days when our tax rates were reasonable. Now, they’ve left our state for greener pastures. Lowering our costs is the best way for us to compete with innovation hubs like New York City and Boston.
By remaking state government and lowering the income tax until it is eliminated, we will provide working people the relief they need to raise families. As we start to show the country how serious we are about getting our fiscal house in order, that stability and predictability will prove to prospective job creators that Connecticut and our workforce are the right fit for them.
Nine states thrive without an income tax. According to Forbes Magazine, economic growth in those states grew nearly 50 percent faster between 1998-2008 than it did in the nine states with the highest top personal income tax rates. We need to look at these success stories and implement similar fiscal policies here in Connecticut to get our economy moving.
The only way out is by initiating pro-growth steps that can help alleviate the burden from the middle class and in doing so strengthening it. Allowing people to keep more of the money they earn will show our residents that the government does indeed care for them.
Quality of Life and Families
It is time to start taking steps to both unburden our families and signal to the nation that Connecticut is taking its fiscal health seriously. As the state’s debt and unfunded obligations continue to get bigger and bigger we will have less and less money going to those who need it most all the while taking more and more from families and diminishing their quality of life.
I have a bold plan that can attack these issues. Connecticut needs to stop thinking about what it will tax next and start thinking about enhancing the quality of life of its citizens. We need to focus on enticing people to live here by creating more job opportunities so we can grow Connecticut into the place we all remember. A place where regular people could find a good paying job, raise and educate a family and a place you could retire in and watch your grandchildren grow.