Upper-Income Connecticut Residents Advocate Higher Tax Rate

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: August 31, 2009

Contact: Maggie Adair, Policy Director, Connecticut Association for Human Services 860-878-8936 or Mike Lapham, Responsible Wealth, 617-423-2148 x112

UPPER-INCOME CONNECTICUT RESIDENTS ADVOCATE HIGHER TAX RATE IN LETTER TO GOVERNOR

They state: "We are willing and able to share in the solution to our state's budget crisis."

Upper-income Connecticut taxpayers are urging Governor Rell and the State Legislature to increase their taxes to close the state budget gap.  Connecticut is one of only two states that have not yet passed a budget for this fiscal year.  Twenty-one upper-income Connecticut taxpayers delivered an open letter to the governor and state legislators today urging them to resolve their standoff and close the budget gap by raising taxes on individuals earning $200,000 and above.  This threshold is well below the $1 million cutoff the Governor has proposed.

Governor Rell, after initial reluctance, recently signaled a willingness to consider raising taxes on upper income taxpayers.  Her proposal, however, does not go far enough and would still require drastic cuts to vital state services.  The letter, coordinated by the Better Choices for Connecticut Coalition and signed by many members of Responsible Wealth, states in part:

"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 [...] 

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 [...]

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 [...]

As upper-income Connecticut State taxpayers, we are willing and able to share in the solution to our state's budget crisis."

"Better Choices for Connecticut has advocated for a fair budget and a more equitable tax system.  Our work has paid off with agreement by the Governor and Legislature to move toward greater tax fairness by increasing the income tax on households earning more than $1 million annually", said Maggie Adair, co-chair of Better Choices for Connecticut.  "The Connecticut individuals signing the Responsible Wealth letter in support of increasing income taxes on households earning $200,000 annually demonstrates that upper-income people in our state are willing to step up to the plate and contribute to closing the budget gap and preserving core services such as education, health care, safety net services, transportation, and job development."

The letter was a joint effort between Better Choices for Connecticut and the Responsible Wealth project. "Many of the signers of this letter are members of the Responsible Wealth project.  They are people who recognize that Connecticut needs a much more progressive tax structure, and that upper-income folks like themselves need to be a big part of the revenue solution to the current budget crisis.  They would rather pay more in taxes than see state services and infrastructure deteriorate.  They value the quality of life in Connecticut and are willing to pay more taxes to help preserve it." said Mike Lapham, director of Responsible Wealth, a project of the national non-profit United for a Fair Economy.  Responsible Wealth is a national network of over 700 business leaders, investors and other wealthy individuals who are concerned about growing economic inequality.

 


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