Opinion: Connecticut’s tax policy – soak the rich, poor, and everybody in between

Suzanne Bates
Suzanne Bates

Suzanne Bates is the policy director for the Yankee Institute for Public Policy. She lives in South Windsor with her family. Follow her on Twitter @suzebates.

Texas has oil, Wyoming has natural gas, and Connecticut has rich people.

We treat our rich people — you know, the finance types in Fairfield County — much like other states treat their natural resources: As the primary source of cash when we need to prop up the state’s budget.

The problem is that unlike oil and gas reserves, which must be extracted where they are found, our rich people can leave.

See the complete story at CT News Junkie.


6 responses to “Opinion: Connecticut’s tax policy – soak the rich, poor, and everybody in between”

  1. Casey Smith

    A year ago, the Connecticut Post ran a story about how more people were leaving CT than moving in. It was a fairly strong warning shot. WNPR followed up on it with an April 30th story and still one heard crickets chirping in the silence. And the Courant took a look at the same subject on August 29th. Many of the reasons are economic. People simply can’t afford to live here, so they move to more affordable areas.

    Not only that, but some businesses were actually forced out, such as PTR Industries and Stag Arms. And while people may smugly say, “Oh, they were firearm companies and we don’t want them in OUR state”, those moves equate to lost jobs, lost business revenue, and lost residents since some chose to leave with their company. That’s a triple play in my mind. And the bigger question remains…did any new business come into those same area with new jobs?

    It’s a simple law of economics. If you make it too hard to do business in one area, people will go elsewhere. If taxes are too high, people will find elsewhere to live. Raise taxes will only work as long as there is someone around who can afford to pay those taxes. If not, then the whole house of cards comes down.

  2. Casey Smith

    Oh yeah, I forgot to add that our family is considering moving elsewhere in a couple of years. We have some family obligations that we’re finishing up and now, we’re working on getting rid of decades of “stuff”. Not sure where we’ll be headed, but we are looking.

  3. Piberman

    CT used to rank no.1 in the country in terms of millionaires as a proportion of its population. Now it’s mo. 3 behind New Jersey and Virginia. Punitive taxes encourage wealthy folks to either move or change their “home” state for tax purposes. There’s no evidence state legislators are focusing in reducing outlays or controlling employment or public union salaries. That was true decades ago and it’s true now. We’re cooked.

  4. Bill

    Taxes cannot be raised. We have no real job growth, no population growth, and no income growth, so why should we pay public unions more? The good news for Fairfield county is that our population is growing, it’s the rest of the state that needs to learn to do more with less.

  5. John Hamlin

    If Connecticut continues on its current fiscal trajectory, few people but the public employees and their union bosses will be able or willing to afford to live here in a decade or so — maybe sooner. Connecticut needs to look at the states that have managed their fiscal circumstances, increased economic activity, created jobs, and managed tax burdens, and follow their lead. There are examples out there on how to do things right — the states are really small laboratories for what works — Connecticut should look at other states (like Wisconsin) and see what works and follow suit.

  6. Norewalk Lifer

    Rich people as a resource is a temporary situation, CT used to be a manufacturing haven, it ebbs and flows.

    If these Ayn Rand types wish to be on the producing end, they have to “think” a little harder, in my view, the opposite is true: the rich are the takers, the middle class is the producer, and the poor have the potential to be middle class.

    This is nonsense; you cannot expect a state to survive on such transient wealth; and it is transient, and it has nothing, nothing at all to do with paying taxes.

    You want lower taxes? get manufacturing to come back to the state, that nut rolled west when Silicon Valley was birthed out in Cali, all the almond and walnut groves razed to grow big buildings, with an eventual travel plan to push the manufacturing to the Asian corridor, first it was South Korea, then Singapore, then China, where next?

    Get used to the idea of either paying more for consumer goods, or paying higher taxes.

    Either way, your cash outlay is certain, it’s just a matter of what poison you wish to swallow (as if money were the end all in matters of life, health, and happiness).

    Norwalk Lifer

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