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Wilton Letter From Boucher: More Blunt Facts About Your Tax Dollars

State Sen. Toni Boucher
State Sen. Toni Boucher Photo Credit: Contributed

WILTON Conn. -- The Wilton Daily Voice accepts signed and original letters to the editor up to 350 words. To submit your letter, email wilton@dailyvoice.com .

To the editor:

“With weak tax collections likely to carry over into fiscal 2017, (Connecticut) has limited flexibility to maintain a balanced budget.” So reads the June 27 report from Moody’s Credit Outlook. And there’s more.

“In calendar 2015, (Connecticut’s) job count grew by 0.7 percent, less than half the nation’s pace, and state job growth continued to lag the nation through May 2016.”

It’s blunt talk. Moody’s Credit Outlook shines a bright light on our state’s underperformance. And it debunks the notion that the stock market is the cause of Connecticut’s budget problems. Our main problem is our anemic job growth brought about by our state’s anti-growth policies.

A report like this is exactly what we need to focus on if we are to emerge from what Gov. Malloy’s budget chief once dubbed Connecticut’s “permanent fiscal crisis.”

That so-called "permanent fiscal crisis" is a manufactured myth. The shortsighted policies embedded in each state budget over the past five years are damaging the job market and decimating our reserves.

Consider the past week’s news: The governor is draining our state’s emergency reserves, commonly known as the “Rainy Day Fund”, leaving it with $83 million, as opposed to the $2 billion necessary to maintain a good credit rating.

The possibility of a Connecticut Mileage Tax – a new and outrageous tax on every single mile you drive – was featured in a national Washington Post article. 1300 white-collar MetLife jobs have moved from Bloomfield, Connecticut to North Carolina over the past three years.

The University of Connecticut callously issued large raises and bonuses to its top brass. The university did so at a time when tuition at UConn is being hiked 31 percent over four years and at a time when funding for our neediest residents is being slashed.

Gov. Dannel P. Malloy defended the raises. Compare that to the past year’s news: Two credit rating agencies downgraded Connecticut in the same week. Two other credit agencies gave the state negative outlooks. Connecticut’s bonding debt grew by 15 percent.

Our bonded indebtedness has grown by more than $3.5 billion in four years. 100 percent of what is dedicated to pensions only funds current state employee retirees, with none of it going into funding existing state employees. Those are the facts involving your tax dollars.

— State Sen. Toni Boucher

Boucher represents the 26th Senate District, including the towns of Bethel, New Canaan, Redding, Ridgefield, Weston, Westport and Wilton.

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