Klarides emphasized that the “surplus” exists largely on paper, as non-partisan fiscal analysts continue to project a $1.1 billion deficit for the next budget cycle, which conveniently will be addressed after the election.
“I’m pleased the Governor has finally recognized that Connecticut families are in need of tax relief. One budget cycle ago he signed off on the largest tax hike in state history – increasing everything from income tax, to sales tax, to corporate tax – and now is doing an election year about-face, hailing tax relief as a priority. While I appreciate that his proposal won’t create a long-term budget hole, he continues to ignore the $1.1 billion deficit projected for next year. ‘Rebates’ sounds great in a sound bite, but we’re still stuck in a pattern of going from fiscal crisis-to-crisis, refusing to address the structural shortfalls at hand” said Klarides, a member of the Appropriations Committee.
“I support his newfound interest in paying down debt and funding the Rainy Day Fund – all of which are proposals I pushed for in past years. However, let’s not forget that Governor Malloy has doubled the amount of total bonding approved since Fiscal Year 2011, from $1.4 billion to an astounding $2.8 billion. I am pleased he is proposing these steps to pay down debt, but it seems he is talking out of both sides of his mouth,” Klarides said.
Last week the House Republican Caucus unveiled a fiscally responsible plan to pay down debt and provide tax relief to residents without adding to the state’s long-term deficit, by restoring $185 million in tax exemptions for clothing, footwear and over-the-counter medicine, and providing small business relief by eliminating a special unemployment assessment of $59 million.
Twice before tax rebates were given in 1998 and 1999; in both instances, the state was flush with cash, the Rainy Day Fund was full and Republicans refused to go over the state spending cap.
Klarides will join her caucus in the coming weeks to launch a full agenda for the coming legislation that beginsFebruary 5.