EDITORIAL: Cutting red tape could help state finances

EDITORIAL: Cutting red tape could help state finances

While Connecticut continues to struggle financially, and while Gov. Ned Lamont continues to look for new sources of revenue, he recently proposed an idea that could cut costs for the state and at the same time spur business growth.

On the theory that a penny saved is a penny earned, this idea could bring the state’s books — which for some time have been running in the red — closer to balance. For that reason alone, it’s worth pursuing.

While the sums involved would not be huge, the idea could take us in the right direction. And in a state that’s been looking at any number of ways to enhance its bottom line — from charging tolls on highways, to broadening the sales-tax base, to taxing sugary drinks and plastic bags, to legalizing recreational marijuana — the idea of saving money while also finding new revenue sources has obvious merit.

To use another old adage, you can’t get blood out of a stone, and for many months Connecticut taxpayers have been anxiously wondering what will be taxed next. At the same time, the state’s plans to shift more costs, such as teacher pensions, onto the cities and towns bodes ill for local property tax rates.

The governor recently unveiled a plan to cut red tape by reducing bureaucracy and making it easier for businesses to work with the state. The goal, he said, is to eliminate more than 90,000 forms that must be filed with the state each year. This would, presumably, cut state payroll costs while at the same time making it easier for small businesses to work with the state.

“With fresh eyes, an aggressive approach, and collaboration, we can modernize state government the way it should be,” Lamont said. “It is too difficult to navigate through our agencies — it slows down our employees and our businesses.”

The administration is also launching an electronic outreach program to gather new ideas to reduce bureaucracy at cutredtapect@ct.gov. The Department of Administrative Services will review those ideas through the end of the month.

To use just one more cliche, every little bit helps.


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