Malloy: “I presented a budget that did not raise taxes”

HARTFORD, Conn. (WTNH) — The Governor seems to be saying tax hikes in the the new state budget aren’t his fault.  

“I presented a budget that did not raise taxes,” Gov. Malloy said while making his first public comments this week about the new budget plan passed by the House and Senate Wednesday. “No one was prepared to vote for that budget, but that’s the reality.”

The Governor appeared to be attempting to shift the blame for breaking his promise not to raise taxes onto Democratic state lawmakers who didn’t have the stomach to cut spending. He attempted to take credit for what he considers the accomplishments.

“(The budget) makes a major investment in transportation, unprecedented investment in transportation, and major advancement in property tax relief,” said Gov. Malloy.

He also says he has spoken to the big bosses at the companies complaining about higher business taxes, and that there may be room for negotiation on them in the upcoming special session.

“I think they ‘doth protest too much,'” Senate Democratic Leader Martin Looney said, quoting Shakespeare. He says the corporation that started the public complaining, Fairfield-based G.E., has an ulterior motive, a hidden reason for complaining about the new taxes.  

“G.E., in particular, we understand that they may have been planning some layoffs and may be using the bill that we passed as a cover,” said Looney.

“It’s not protesting too much, it’s just a building frustration that we’re going from deficit to tax increase to deficit to tax increase, and now in the third year, as you known, we’re projecting another deficit,” said Joe Brennan of the Connecticut Business & Industry Association.

Even though they admit that Connecticut has a moderate corporate tax structure, the big corporations are very concerned that something new called a “Unitary Tax,” which would tax dollars they make outside of Connecticut, will result in a major cost in the years ahead.    

“While we stand here today, there are boardrooms all around the state that are meeting and trying to figure out where they’re going to go when they leave Connecticut,” said House Republican Leader Themis Klarides of Derby.

The General Assembly will come back into special session to make some adjustments to this budget either late next week or the week after.

The Associated Press reports that the CEO at G.E. has told employees that the company has begun looking at the possibility of relocating in response to this new budget and the taxes in it. The report says the company has assembled a team to explore looking at another state with a more pro-business environment.

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