United States

Hating On Connecticut

Is our state really that bad? NBC Connecticut Investigates does some fact-checking.

More often than not, it seems Nutmeggers harp on the negative. But are these real beefs about Connecticut, or are we just “Cranky Yankees?”

Many say the 860 and 203 have a lot to offer.

We actually have winter, spring, summer, and fall in Connecticut. There are mountains and shoreline. It’s a state with a lot of history and great neighborhoods.

But Freddy Faulkner of Hamden says he has a legitimate complaint about living in Connecticut.

“Right now, taxes are killing me. I am a local business owner,” said Faulkner.

He might have a point. Recent surveys by USA Today, Forbes, and The Tax Foundation all have Connecticut as one of the worst five states in the U.S. when it comes to taxes paid as a percentage of income, state and local tax burden, and combined sales and income tax.

Sierra Fleury of Waterbury has a related complaint.

“The cost of living out here is insane. It is so hard to get by, every day,” she said.

That is a problem, according to retired Quinnipiac Business School Professor David Cadden. He cites a 2018 CNBC report that includes Connecticut as one of the ten worst states when it comes to the cost of living.

“I think probably if you looked at it in depth it would be the cost of housing,” Cadden said.

While it may be expensive to live here, things on the job front do not appear as grim. Our state currently has thousands of good paying job openings it cannot fill including schoolteachers and positions at Pratt and Whitney and Electric Boat. Meanwhile, Glassdoor.com, a job and recruiting site, just ranked Hartford fifth in the U.S. in terms of best cities for jobs in 2018.

Then there’s that Connecticut weather. Student Alvin Furlowe of New Haven is not a fan.

“The weather is like, bipolar, it keeps changing on you,” said Furlowe.

NBC Connecticut Chief Meteorologist Ryan Hanrahan says Connecticut actually ranks in the middle of the pack in terms of total annual rainfall, snowfall, and daily high temperature.

“If you compare Connecticut to let’s say, places like Chicago or Minneapolis, we actually in some places in Connecticut get more snow than both of those cities, but it’s not as cold during the winter so our winters tend to be a bit milder because we’re near the water,” said Hanrahan.

Others complain there’s not enough to do in our state. It is true that no city or town in Connecticut made the cut in U.S. News and World Report’s 2018 ranking of 30 “most fun” places. The survey measured access to parks, culture, restaurants, pro sports, shopping, nightlife, and popularity of each place in terms of plane flights.

But some Connecticut fun seekers like Gabriele Kennedy disagree with that gripe.

“People aren’t trying very hard if they think there’s nothing to do here,” she said.

We have tons of events at Rentschler Field, the Xfinity Center, The Bushnell, the Shubert Theatre, and Infinity Hall, just to name a few venues. And we’re right in between Boston and New York, both of which are serviced by trains and buses.

For sure, Connecticut has its challenges. But how you see it, very much depends on if you’re a glass half empty, or glass half full person. No doubt, however, hating on Connecticut will continue to be a favorite pastime for many.

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