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Malloy and His Budget Director Send Different Signals on Tax Hikes

January 24, 2017 By Staff
Malloy and His Budget Director Send Different Signals on Tax Hikes

Gov. Dan Malloy (D-Conn.) and budget director Ben Barnes sent two different messages on tax hikes at a forum held by Connecticut Voices for Children.

On Tuesday, both Gov. Dan Malloy (D-Conn.) and his budget director, Ben Barnes, attended a forum hosted by Connecticut Voices for Children (CT Voices). CT Voices has proposed $3 billion in new taxes for 2017.

Speaking ahead of his boss, Barnes said spending cuts or tax hikes are “the things that have to happen to bring the budget into balance.” Video and transcript below:

BEN BARNES: The budget purist says, ‘well, if there’s a gap between your projected expenditures and your projected revenues, you can lower your expenditures or you can increase your revenues.’ And either one of those, or a combination of them, will bring into balance. And I firmly believe that that is, that we have to keep that basic math – not any alternate math, here – but the real math that, you know those are the things that have to happen to bring the budget into balance.

Malloy, speaking after Barnes, suggested businesses would leave if Connecticut increased taxes. Video and transcript below:

DAN MALLOY: I did walk in on your tax discussion, that’s one of the areas where we’re not always in agreement. I will note, in general terms, that we are in a competitive environment. Our main competitors are New York, New Jersey, Massachusetts, and Rhode Island. But even on a broader basis, we have competitors. And those competitors watch what we do, and we watch what they do, and to assume that corporations that have multiple locations within multiple states aren’t watching that and understanding where they may want to enlarge their footprint or shrink their footprint, I think is naive. And I think in the budget we’ll try to reflect that experience and that knowledge as well.

So, there appears to be a tug of war in the Malloy administration over the necessity of tax hikes. Who will win out?