Letters: Financiers want state tax plan reversed
Published 6:29 am, Friday, June 19, 2015
In the past two weeks, we have witnessed what is reported to be one of the largest tax increases in the state’s history pass the state legislature. As a result of this budget, several of the world’s premier corporations including the town’s largest taxpayer, GE, have indicated their intention to explore relocation out of Connecticut, (and, for GE, Fairfield).
As the town body with responsibility to look after the town’s long-term financial well-being, we are concerned about this turn of events and are working to gather as much information as possible as to the potential impact to the town. Rest assured, we take the issue seriously and, as in the past, will do anything within our power to protect the town from a long-term financial perspective.
We call upon the governor and the legislature to re-evaluate their current position and explore a resolution that has less of a tax burden, not just to GE, but to all businesses across our town and our state. A robust business environment provides economic benefits to citizens, towns and the state itself.
While the economic loss to Fairfield caused by a potential GE relocation is not readily determinable / quantifiable at the present time, we know that it would be detrimental to the community. The disposition of the property is uncertain and, depending on that outcome, the cost may be millions of dollars in lost annual tax revenue. This would result in either an increased tax burden on residents and/or a decrease in services that the town would be able to provide.
However, that is only the direct financial impact. The loss to the town in prestige, history, charitable activities as well as the impact on the individuals/families that are employees of GE is far greater and will hurt the town in immeasurable ways. GE supports many local charities and its employees patronize local business, volunteer in the community and serve on town committees.
It is our hope that state leadership will take this into consideration and revisit their decisions and fully appreciate the impact it may have on our community as well as others throughout the state.
Board of Finance members