HARTFORD – State Representative Rob Sampson (R-Southington, Wolcott) cast his vote against a state budget, citing increases to state spending, unfair and unnecessarily raises taxes on the middle class. Debate on the budget, which was the result of negotiations between Governor Dannel P. Malloy and majority Democrats, began around 5:30 a.m. Wednesday.
The House Republicans said in a release that the spending and tax package, which passed narrowly by a vote of 73-70 in the House without a single Republican vote, raises taxes on hard-working Connecticut families and businesses by more than $1.5 billion.
“The legislature just doubled down on policies that have negatively impacted our economy, cost the state jobs, and made it harder to live, work and raise a family here” Sampson said in the release. “Once again, the Democrats in this administration and this legislature have predictably decided to continue growing government at the expense of hard-working state residents who have a continuingly diminished ability to pay for it.”
Sampson said that the budget also includes total income tax increases of $442.2 million over two years by increasing the tax rate on personal income, reducing the property tax credit from $300 to $200 in the budget’s second year, which impacts every homeowner in the state and comes on the heels of a previous reduction from $500 to $300 in 2011.
Additionally, the budget also repeals the clothing and footwear exemption which Republicans said disproportionately affects the low and middle class, and maintains the state’s 6.35% sales tax despite earlier reports that rate would be reduced as an offset to the loss of the clothing exemption.
Of the $1.5 billion in new taxes, $475 million come from wiping out previously scheduled tax cuts for shoppers, businesses, insurance companies and the working poor before they even had a chance to take effect.
In the release, Sampson also notes that General fund spending for Fiscal Year 16 is $784 million more than the current year and fails to honor the constitutional spending cap. He also said that the budget underfunds debt service, which will require more premiums and cost the state more in the long run, and no attempt was made to make up unachieved SEBAC savings from governor’s plan. In addition, Sampson noted that the budget did not include funding for the GAAP liability over the next two years, one of Malloy’s top priorities.