Bridgeport, New Haven, Waterbury and Hartford all face mounting debt, pension and OPEB liabilities, coupled with high taxes, high rates of poverty and declining services, according to a forth-coming study entitled Connecticut's Broken Cities. However, Stamford remains the one major Connecticut city that does not qualify as a “distressed municipality.”
This year, Connecticut lawmakers have the opportunity to show that they are committed to bringing jobs and prosperity back to our state. That starts with saying “no” to another tax increase, and “yes” to dismantling the barriers that hobble job and economic growth. During the 2017 legislative session, the Yankee Institute will be working with legislators, state officials and stakeholders in the following areas
Among the troubled roots is Connecticut’s inability to sufficiently reduce spending, which has hurt the state’s fiscal health. In the most recent fiscal health analysis put out by some of the nation’s most reliable economic researchers, Connecticut shows vast room for improvement. In the Pew Charitable Trust’s research titled Fiscal 50: State Trends and Analysis, Connecticut did not fare well compared to its neighbors. Of particular note is the state’s depleted reserves; Connecticut’s reserves would allow the state to operate for a projected 8.3 days.
Connecticut is naughty both for energy policy and energy prices. According to the Pacific Research Institute’s most recent 50 State Index of Energy Regulation, Connecticut has a lot of work to do. The state’s regulatory scheme ranks 47 in the country. The Index measures the regulatory burdens placed on consumers and producers of energy by each state, ranking them accordingly.
Numbers released by the U.S. Census Bureau show that Connecticut’s population has declined for the third year in a row. According to its Annual Estimates of the Resident Population for the United States and Puerto Rico, Connecticut has had a net loss of 19,581 residents since the state peaked in 2013.
When Governor Dannel Malloy admitted that the state’s recent trend of raising taxes wasn’t working, and that economic growth was necessary, it signaled a shift in attitude toward the right direction. How to foster economic growth should consistently be a factor and goal in any public policy debate or legislative issue. The state needs revenue, but by chasing revenue through tax increases, it has actually chased people, and revenue, away.