Governor Malloy is one of a handful of governors filing a lawsuit challenging the constitutionality of the new federal income tax laws limiting state and local tax deductions. Gov. Malloy said, “It is fundamentally unfair and illegal.”
I find Gov. Malloy’s statement to be fundamentally flawed. It is still yet to be determined whether or not the law is, in fact “illegal.” We will have to wait and see what the courts have to say about the governor’s version of what is or isn’t. According to many legal scholars, it is rather unlikely to be found illegal as under Section 8 of the Constitution, Congress “shall have the power to lay and collect taxes.”
Additionally, I find it unfair, very unfair, how Gov. Malloy’s administration and his Democrat-controlled Connecticut Legislature feel that it is “fair” to continually look at how they can come up with ways to rip the wallets out of taxpayers’ hands to fund their gross mismanagement. Shouldn’t they begin cutting every last piece of fat from every department and existing program, first? When is the size of government big enough?
Incidentally, Connecticut has the highest administrative costs for transportation projects in the country! According to a nationwide study by Reason Foundation in 2013 (the most recent data available) Connecticut spent an astounding $83,282 per mile. The national average was only $10,051. That’s over eight times the national average.
What is also fundamental is that the tax-first attitude of Gov. Malloy and the current sitting Democrat majority is flawed. While we should always look to find ways to assist those in need and fund our infrastructure, however, by continually increasing taxes no one is going to be left, nor able to afford, to help assist the neediest or pay for our necessary services and improvements.
That tax-first mentality is literally driving away, permanently, many of the state’s highest taxpayers. In several recent discussions I’ve had with soon-to-be-retirees, none of them were seriously thinking of staying here in Connecticut. It’s either just too expensive to live here or the taxes levied on retirement savings are just too high.
To compound our state government mismanagement, the new tax options expounded by the crew of Democrat candidates for Governor -- such as an increase in our sales tax, bringing back highway tolls or adding another tax increase of $.04 per gallon of gasoline -- fail in the most basic sense. We need to cut taxes and contain expenses, not expand the collection from a declining base.
Connecticut is doing something very wrong. We need a dramatic leadership change in Hartford if we’re ever going to right the ship, and that process most likely isn’t going to be pretty. What has become the status quo here in Connecticut is unsustainable. In the final analysis, citizens get what you vote for in who you vote for.
Lou Arata is a retired sales professional now residing in Meriden.