Wednesday, March 17, 2010


Photo Above: Overflow crowd at the Better Choices for Connecticut Press Conference [Click on the photo for full screen]

At a news conference today, Better Choices for Connecticut released a report outlining several options to modernize Connecticut’s revenue system while closing our state’s massive budget deficit. The Better Choices coalition, made up of nonprofit providers, labor unions, and community and advocacy organizations, pressed legislators to adopt the measures to protect families in this devastating national recession, and maintain vital public services—including education, health, public safety, environmental protection, and transportation systems-when families are needing them most.

Increasing revenue, according to the Better Choices report, would align Connecticut with 30 other states that have acted in the last year to increase state revenues to not only keep pace with the growing need for public services, but to position themselves for future growth and sustainability when better economic conditions return. Notably, citizens in Oregon themselves voted to raise personal income taxes on higher income households in order to maintain the state’s quality of life.

The menu of revenue options advocated by Better Choices for Connecticut includes proposals to:

• Close Corporate tax loopholes that benefit multi-state companies over local companies;

• Evaluate the $5 billion in tax breaks in state tax laws and reduce or eliminate unproductive tax breaks;

• Increase income taxes for those who can best afford it, the state’s wealthy residents;

• Delay reductions in the gift and estate tax, a tax that affects only a handful of the state’s wealthiest residents;

• Taxing excess profits of electricity generators would raise $ 400 million dollars a year for the state. Connecticut is has one of the highest electric rates in the country. The windfall profits accruing to for-profit electricity generators because of deregulation could be a significant source of state revenue and relief to rate payers. Company filings with the Federal Energy Regulatory commission were used to estimate that imposing an assessment on 50% of profits over 20% of the return on equity would generate over $ 400 million dollars.

[Photo above: Jamey Bell of CT Voices for Children]

"We can balance the budget without relying solely on spending cuts that damage the state’s economic future and harm families,” said Jamey Bell, Executive Director of Connecticut Voices for Children. “There is a wide range of more balanced alternatives, such as evaluating and reducing the state’s ‘hidden budget’ of tax breaks and corporate tax loopholes.”

Photo above: William Cibes - Former secretary of Office and Policy and Management under Gov. Lowell P. Weicker, Jr.

William Cibes, chancellor emeritus of the Connecticut State University System and former secretary of the Office of Policy and Management under Gov. Lowell P. Weicker, Jr. said, “It’s not a question of IF revenues will be raised, but WHICH revenues will be raised. Better Choices is performing an important public service by putting forward some very constructive suggestions about how to do that.”

Maggie Adair, Deputy Director of Connecticut Association for Human Services noted, "Durning a recession as deep as this one, demand for public services dramatically escalates. Slashing vital state services would hurt the working poor and middle-income people who have lost their jobs and are ruling behind. Connecticut is the wealthiest state in the nation, but it is among the most unequal. We have the capacity to protect and invest in our people and our communities,”

The report, “Revenue Solutions for FY 2011,” is available on the Better Choices for Connecticut website at


The faith-based members of the Better Choices Coalition announce a special meeting concerning the Connecticut's economic crisis.

Photo above: The Rev. Steve Camp of Faith Congregational Church in Hartford. Rev. Camp announced a special meeting of the faith-based community to deal with Connecticut's economic crisis. ALL are welcome and urged to join this effort to move forward.

DATE: Wednesday, April 14, 2010
TIME: 7:00 PM
PLACE: Faith Congrgational Church
2030 Main Street, Hartford, CT

For more info. Contact: The Rev. Steve Camp, Faith Congregational Church - 860-547-0820

Posted by and photos by Tom Connolly

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