Connecticut Sharing in the Solution - Statement

Governor Rell and Members of the Connecticut State Legislature,

As upper-income residents of Connecticut who treasure the quality of life in our state, we believe that Governor Rell's proposed budget cuts unnecessarily limit the State’s ability to maintain public structures and human services that are vital to keeping Connecticut strong and vibrant.

Low-income and moderate-income families have already borne the brunt of the economic downturn in Connecticut.   In the last recession, Connecticut residents lost jobs sooner and recovered at a slower rate than the nation as a whole.   Unemployment is already higher now than it was at the peak of the last recession in 2003 (7.1% compared to 5.7%).   Meanwhile, the wealthiest fifth of Connecticut residents have seen a 45% increase in average real income since the late 1980s, while the poorest fifth have seen a drop in their real income.   State public service workers have already made $700 million in concessions, yet further cuts to the public services on which our residents are now relying in greater numbers are still being proposed.

Inequality in our state is growing, despite the fact that CT has the highest per capita income in the US.   As upper-income taxpayers, we are not carrying our share of the load.   The top 1% of Connecticut families pay 4.5% of their income to state and local taxes, while those in the lowest 20%   pay 12.1%.

Part of the solution to the budget crisis lies in asking those with more resources to pay higher marginal rates.   Progressive tax brackets are being used in many of Connecticut’s neighboring states and are an important means for establishing fairer, more reliable state revenue.

During times of economic hardship, we must all make sacrifices to support the common good.   Those of us who have incomes of $200,000 and above can well afford an increase in our income tax.   Instead of placing an even greater burden on communities and families already suffering from the economic crisis, we need to develop a balanced solution that will save the much-needed public services that benefit us all.

In this way, we can and should avoid severe cuts to our great state's services and continue to invest in our people and our communities.   As upper-income Connecticut State taxpayers, we are willing and able to share in the solution to our state's budget crisis.

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