Republicans: Spending Cuts Don't Justify Tax Hikes

The two top Republican leaders of the state General Assembly said Gov. Dannel Malloy hasn't cut enough state spending to justify the large-scale, across-the-board tax increases he is proposing.

Senate Minority Leader John McKinney and House Minority Leader Lawrence Cafero Jr., who were briefed on the budget proposal by the Democratic governor's staff on Tuesday, told reporters they expected there would be tax increases, but not to the extent Malloy is suggesting.

He is proposing raising taxes by $1.5 billion in the first year of the budget to help cover an approximate $3.5 billion deficit.

Cafero said the Republicans were told state government spending, under Malloy's plan, will be slightly higher in the two-year budget compared to current year spending. Cafero says that won't sit well with taxpayers.

Some Democrats said the tax increases are necessary.  

"We are all going to have to feel the pain across the board. We are all going to make some sacrifices," State Rep. Tony Guerrera, a Democrat said. "As someone who has a small business and understands that we are going to feel that pain, we have to see the full budget and make sure it's fair for everyone across the board."

Malloy acknowledged that the proposals would not be popular.

"Everyone's going to be upset. That's a certain reality, but what they should be able to take away from this document is that we are serious about solving our problems," Malloy said.

Copyright AP - Associated Press
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