A recent Barron’s article, “State of the States,” has pronounced that Connecticut is the worst managed state in the country. The article focuses on investor willingness (or unwillingness) to purchase bonds and how a state’s fiscal position impacts a state’s ability to borrow. This article ranks states according to their combined debt and unfunded pension liabilities relative to their GDP.
Every store owner, restaurant and family knows Connecticut is still in recession. State government needs to wake up to this reality and make the tough decisions to kick-start our economy. Spending reductions and tax relief for Connecticut’s citizens need to be implemented as soon as possible to bring Connecticut back from its fiscal cliff.
We urge voters to look at the facts:
• Connecticut’s unemployment rate is 9.0%, while New England’s is at 7.1%.
• Connecticut is ranked last in combined debt and pension liability at 17.1% of GDP (the best state is at 1% GDP). This ranking is troublesome as it clearly shows that Connecticut’s debt is seriously out of line with what the state produces. It is also another indicator to show that Connecticut does not live within its means.
• Despite enacting the largest retroactive tax increase in state history, the state ended FY 2012 in a deficit. Rather than reducing spending when the deficit was projected, the administration decided to use funds designated to pay down debt, costing taxpayers an additional $9 million in interest.
• General fund spending increased by $936.9 million, or 5.2%, between FY 2011 and FY 2012; spending is scheduled to increase by an additional $400 million in this fiscal year.
• Three months into the new fiscal year, the current projected deficit is already $26.9 million and will only get worse as revenues come up short.
• The state is projected to have a deficit of over $420 million next year. The governor has already stated that he would not rule out additional tax increases. Further tax increases will only exacerbate the problem as too many jobs and people, especially seniors, are now fleeing the state.
• Nation’s highest total federal, state and local taxes ($7,007 per capita).
• High-income taxpayers in Connecticut pay two-thirds of state’s federal income tax.
• Second highest unfunded pension liability ($4,500 per capita).
• Fourth highest state debt ($7,882 per capita).
• Bond rating downgrades costing millions in added interest expense.
• Worst state in the country to retire in.
• 45 states have fewer health insurance mandates.
• Second highest state gas taxes.
• Voted Least Business Friendly Legislature by Expansion Management magazine.
• Fifth highest cost of doing business, according to the Milken Institute.
• Latest “Tax Free Day” in the country — May 2.
We are running for office to implement a more fiscally responsible path for the future of Connecticut and its taxpayers. Please support us on Nov. 6.