Affordability

Affordability

I don’t need CNBC or a poll to tell me that it’s hard to afford life in Connecticut.  As I travel across the state I hear it every day from families, people who have retired on a fixed income and even those fresh out of school.  People love Connecticut and don’t want to leave, but many simply can’t afford to live here anymore.  As a result, United Van Lines reported that there were only three states that had more people move out in 2021 than Connecticut.

What’s frustrating is that politicians in state government throw up their hands and refuse to do anything about it. 

Inflation is hitting Connecticut residents especially hard. Prices are surging – the highest rate in almost 40 years – and the State of Connecticut is raking in millions on the backs of hard-working residents who are begging for a break. 

I refuse to accept that the people of this state have to put their own dreams aside because the money they work so hard to earn doesn’t go as far as it should. To put it simply, the state government doesn’t do its part to live within its means and protect every single penny they get from the people of this state and be accountable for every expense.  When I’m Governor, it will.

I’m running for Governor because we need elected leaders in our state who work for you, to change the status quo and make Connecticut more affordable. 

As a kid growing up in North Haven, my family was probably a lot like yours. We never had a lot, but we always had enough. My Dad worked his way up from the mailroom at The Southern New England Telephone Company and rose to management; – while my mom was a unionized clerk who went back to work to help put us through college.

Today, the sad reality is that the dream my parents worked so hard to fulfill and to provide for my sisters and me, is almost entirely out of reach. Even though some state politicians don’t seem to recognize that, we all live it every day.

As a businessman, I know what it will take to get this state back on track.

Our state is so expensive that $100 is only worth $92.59. This ranks us, the fifth most expensive state in the nation. Electricity prices are the highest in the continental United States and the cost of childcare is the fourth highest in the country. We have the second-highest state and local taxes, – currently at a rate of 12.8%- and every family in Connecticut is feeling it in their wallets. 

To be blunt, nearly everything in our state is more expensive than the rest of the country.

So how are we going to make Connecticut more affordable? 

We’re going to take a holistic approach. The problems are too big to solve with one tax, or one budget cut. 

JUMP-START IMMEDIATE TAX RELIEF: There’s no doubt that Connecticut needs a tax overhaul. The system we have isn’t working for residents and job creators, and they need immediate relief. 

  • Did you know that of the 340 taxes the state collects, the bottom 200 only generate 0.22% of the state budget, some even cost more to collect than they generate in revenue? I’m going to eliminate these taxes on day one, directing my Tax Commissioner to stop collecting them. 
  • I’m calling on the legislature and the Governor to immediately cut the sales tax, the gross receipts tax on gas and eliminate Ned Lamont’s new tax on restaurants and prepared foods to address soaring inflation; if they fail to act, I will. Inflation is higher now than at any point in the last 40 years. People are paying too much already, and the State of Connecticut shouldn’t be profiting off a national economic disaster while people are struggling. 
  • Lower taxes from the bottom-up. We’re going to address property tax reform, and it starts with reducing government spending to provide relief to residents paying more and more taxes each year on their cars and home. 

ACCOUNTABLE SPENDING: I will immediately direct state auditors to begin the fiscal root canal Connecticut desperately needs. An audit of all state government and quasi-public agencies will root out waste fraud and abuse, and make sure that every dollar paid in taxes is being maximized. People know Connecticut is expensive, but they need to trust that every penny they send to the state government is spent wisely. 

TAKE ON UTILITIES: Connecticut residents and job creators pay the highest utility rates in the continental United States. The average electric bill in Connecticut is $197.70 per month. This is crushing working families, seniors on a fixed income, and small businesses. This is outrageous.

  • We need a new regulatory team and a new approach. The first step will be assembling a team of industry experts, and consumer advocates to identify immediate reforms that will lower rates and create accountability and transparency. We need to especially rethink electricity generation and delivery. 
  • I will separate PURA, the state’s utility regulator, from the Department of Energy and Environmental Protection and have new appointees to both agencies whose mission will be affordability, accountability and safety. 
  • My new appointees will not rubber-stamp high profits for utility monopolies that are making your life harder. A utility’s companies profit, and management compensation will be based on performance, not guaranteed by the state government as it currently is.  Utility executives should not be making millions of dollars while consumers are waiting days, or even weeks for their power to come back on after a major storm.