Tuesday, May 10, 2011

A Better Choice: no cuts - no layoffs -tax the rich

As Governor Malloy inisits that state public workers either take $2 million of concessions or layoffs of 40,000 workers, a different solution.offered by Better Choices for Connecticut would raisse needed revenue with a progressive tax increase on those earning over $1 million, and by closing corporate tax loopholes.

Last month the Better Choices coalition held a press conference at the state captiol, largely ignored by media, ansering the Governor's claim that the wealthiest residents will move if their taxes are raised any more.

"If you raise state income taxes for the wealthiest people, the overwhelming majority will stay, and you will get significant new resources to meet growing public needs," said Jon Shure, Deputy Director of the State Fiscal Project at the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities.

"Tax policy should be made by debating public needs and how to meet them, not through fear tactics and false assertions." he concluded.

Jeffrey Thompson of the Political Economy Research Institute at University of Massachusetts, Amherst agreed. "People are not going to leave a state because of some modest changes in taxes," he said. "But they will leave if public safety deteriorates and if there are no jobs."

The press conference was one of many actions the Better Choices coalition has taken to show that Connecticut has the resources to close the budget gap without laying off workers or cutting much needed services.

Tax Fact of the Day #5, distributed to legislators, shows that a modest gradual tax on the portion of income above $1 million dollars could fund hundreds of teachers, police officers, and health care providers and cover the costs of thousands of children in early care and in college.

The extension of the Bush era tax cuts gave a family earling over $3 million a year a tax break of $2,477 a week. The Better Choices proposal would only increase their state income tax by $250. The coalition is made up of non-profit providers, public service workers and community and advocacy organizations.

Video segments from the press conference:

Jamey Bell at Better Choices Press Conference 4.13.11

Jon Shure at Better Choices Press Conferenc 4.13.11

Wade Gibson at Better Choices Press Conference 4.13.11

Jeffrey Thompson at Better Choices Press Conference 4.13.11

Response to Foley Report at Better Choices Press Conference 4.13.11