Bob Stefanowski’s Scheme to Raise Property Taxes in Every Town
This November, voters across Connecticut will again have a choice in determining the future of this state. We’ve fallen behind and now more than ever, it’s crucial to elect a governor with a vision and plan to build a 21st century economy for our state. To do that, we must reduce the property tax burden felt by so many working families, invest in our children’s future, attract more jobs and build an efficient transportation system.
I believe in Connecticut and in our future, and I believe we can create a vibrant economy with smart tax cuts, strategic investments and doubling down on the priorities that make Connecticut a great place to call home.
If Republicans are allowed to follow through on their radical promises, they would create an additional $11 billion hole in the state’s already strained $18 billion budget, causing property taxes in every one of Connecticut’s 169 towns to increase — in some, by well over 100 percent.
Those increases in property tax would only keep municipalities at current levels. It would prevent further investments in local education and other town and city services, a devastating result considering many schools throughout our state are already underfunded.
Connecticut’s income taxes account for 61 percent of the revenue in our general fund. Without a new source of revenue, every line item in the budget would have to be cut in half or eliminated entirely. The bulk of these cuts would fall on our middle-class families and the towns in which they live.
State aid represents at least 27 percent of local government revenue — and that’s before the state’s heavy obligations for teacher pensions are taken into account. It represents 40 percent of our education budget.
If our towns had to stand on their own, then the state’s largest cities, already cash-strapped, would be hit the hardest. In New Haven, property taxes would increase by 116 percent and the median extra tax bill would be $6,669. In the state’s largest city, Bridgeport, taxpayers would see their property taxes increase by 92 percent and would have to pay $5,864 more each year. Small towns and suburbs would get hit, too. In Coventry, property taxes would go up by 57 percent, an extra $3,242 per year. And in Derby, the property tax hike would be 68 percent — a hit of $3,764.
For Connecticut to regain its standing as a place where people want to live, work and raise a family, we need to make our state a place where people can afford to live again.
Voters have a choice this November: to maintain the status quo or revitalize and strengthen our urban centers to be the economic engines that drive our state toward future success.
I believe in building a Connecticut for the 21st century. To do that, we need to enhance the vibrancy of our towns and cities by investing in education and our transportation infrastructure, so we can attract new businesses and residents to the region as we create more jobs.
As governor, I would do what I did as a successful entrepreneur and executive: stretch dollars, eliminate inefficiencies, leverage new technologies and bring stakeholders to the table to decrease costs.
Last week, I unveiled a realistic proposal to cut property taxes for the middle class. The budget has been balanced on the backs of the middle class for too long, and working families are struggling. My proposal targeted to the middle class would give the average beneficiary nearly $700 more in their wallets annually. It’s a smart step that reverses a Gov. Malloy tax increase.
Republican nominee Bob Stefanowski’s plan to create an $11 billion hole would eliminate funds for economic development programs, our state colleges and universities, public safety, environmental protection, job training and healthcare for one in every five residents.
Unless Stefanowski plans to default on our debts, quadruple sales taxes to more than 25 percent, or simply begin printing money, what’s left in the general fund will be taken up by the state’s fixed obligations. There will be nothing left for our towns.
The following chart, based on the most recent property tax and intergovernmental revenues, shows what would happen to property rates if Stefanowski’s radical plan becomes reality.
The impact of Stefanowski’s tax plan would be felt across our state by all our residents, either through massive tax increases or extraordinary cuts to priorities like education.
He is making the same kind of dishonest campaign promises that got our state into a fiscal mess in the first place, and I believe we need to change how we do business in Connecticut to get our state back on the right track.
My bold, new vision for the state puts residents at the forefront and creates equal opportunities for all Connecticut residents, while steadying the state’s financial footing.