What the GE move really means for Fairfield

FILE - This Nov. 7, 2002, file photo, shows the General Electric Co., corporate headquarters campus in Fairfield, Conn. GE's consideration of moving their headquarters out of Connecticut was among the top stories in the state for 2015. (AP Photo/Bob Child, File)

FAIRFIELD, Conn. (WTNH)– GE is moving its world headquarters out of Connecticut and north to Massachusetts. What does the move mean for the financial health of the Town of Fairfield?

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General Electric says it is going to start moving people and jobs to Boston for a new global headquarters in Beantown. G.E. pays close to $2 million a year in property taxes to the town, and it employs 800 people, many of whom live in Fairfield and pay their own taxes to the town. So the move could have a real impact on Fairfield’s budget.

“I don’t think you’re going to be shutting down schools,” said Voluntown resident Mike Buturla, as he stood in front of Fairfield’s Firehouse Deli, “but it’s going to affect the economy of Fairfield and greater Fairfield County.”

“Of course everyone’s worried about that and the tax base,” said Fairfield resident Suzanne Keiser. “They were a big taxpayer in town, so that’s a concern also.”

Boston reportedly offered G.E. a huge tax break to move there, and today, many are wondering whether Connecticut’s taxes got too high for big business, and whether the Hartford could have done more to keep G.E. in the nutmeg state.

“You got companies leaving because of tax,” Buturla warned. “You got companies leaving because the governor is not giving them what they need to stay in business here.”

In the official press release explaining why G.E. is moving its global headquarters’ CEO Jeff Immelt said it was because of all the colleges and universities in Boston and the tech-savvy group of people living there. So in the official reason, it’s not that Connecticut was too expensive for GE, it’s that Connecticut wasn’t smart enough for GE.

 

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