Invite fairness to the table

Better Choices for Connecticut press release

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Governor Malloy has invited the Democratic and Republican Leadership to meet about a predicted revenue shortfall, but apparently the only options to be discussed are more cuts. We call on the Governor and the legislature to invite fairness to the table by examining ways to achieve a fairer and more efficient revenue system.

Addressing revenue shortfalls with only more cuts is not fair. Continued cuts will negatively affect all of Connecticut’s families and children who need essential services, people with disabilities and the elderly who need caring services, schools that need good teachers, and communities that need public safety. If our revenue projections are off, it is certainly not because the richest half a percent among us are struggling, or because our largest and most profitable businesses can’t afford to pay their share. Let’s seek additional contributions from
those very fortunate few who have ability and means to pay.

We all want a government that works well and programs that provide the essential public structures upon which our economy and communities depend such as clean air and water, good schools, public safety and care for our most vulnerable. We are the richest state in the union, and yet for decades we have tolerated waiting lists in some of our most basic public services, and inadequate investments in our futures. Indeed, over the years, these programs have already
sustained hundreds of millions of dollars in cuts.

When we miss our revenue forecasts by less than 1% -- as the Administration is indicating here – the first place we look should not be these important programs. Instead, we should look first at addressing a system where working and middle class families pay almost twice the effective rate in state and local taxes than the richest among us do, and we should ask those richest to pay a little more. And such principles of fairness should apply not just to individual taxes, but to
business taxes as well. Our revenue structure should ask our largest and most profitable businesses to pay their fair share, and we should do so in way that is fair to small businesses and good for our economy.

More cuts mean still more pain for all of us, and threaten the futures of our families and our communities. Let’s not leave fairness off the table. There are better choices.

Better Choices is a statewide coalition working to help lawmakers make smarter decisions about the state’s imbalanced revenue system. Members include nonprofit providers, labor, community, faith, environment, and advocacy organizations.

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