For Immediate Release: 2/9/2016
Contact: Zachary Janowski
Mobile: (860) 384-5777

Yankee Institute calls for an escape from the cycle of deficits
Malloy budget will hike property taxes

February 9 – The Yankee Institute is calling for state lawmakers to make structural reforms to the budget that will break Connecticut’s cycle of deficits followed by service cuts and never-ending tax increases. Those reforms include:

1. Pension reform for state employees and teachers;
2. Salary and other benefit realignment of state workers;
3. Implementation priority based budgeting;
4. Full enactment of the constitutional spending cap;
5. A freeze on state borrowing.

“Families across Connecticut are waiting for a state budget that will give them the stability they need to get on with their lives,” said Carol Platt Liebau, president of the Yankee Institute. “Instead, they get one that gives just the opposite. Homeowners across the state will be suddenly making bigger mortgage payments."

“That’s only the beginning. How can small-business owners succeed when their tax rates change from moment to moment? How can families care for loved ones when state services are in doubt?” Liebau said. “For a change, lawmakers should pass a budget that solves problems instead of sharing them across the state.”

Higher property taxes would hurt middle class families, and could force more people to leave the state. “Our state’s population is already shrinking – we can’t afford to lose any more of our friends and neighbors,” said Suzanne Bates, policy director for the Yankee Institute.

“We were pleased to see that the governor is calling for a change in the way the state assesses the death tax,” Liebau said. “We continue to lose our richest citizens to other states because of this tax – and with them go not only the tax dollars that support services for the most disadvantaged, but also their daily spending and generous philanthropy as well.”

The governor’s budget rests on the assumption that he will get major concessions from the government unions. It is necessary to bring state worker salary and benefits in alignment with those received by private sector workers. This should not come at the cost of another long-term union contract.

“Other states do not handcuff their lawmakers and taxpayers through the use of decade-long union contracts,” Bates said. “This is a bad way to do the people’s business, and this practice should be discontinued.”

The Hartford-based Yankee Institute for Public Policy works to transform Connecticut into a place where everyone is free to succeed.

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