When a governor says spending cuts will take priority over tax hikes, municipal chief executives say pass the whiskey bottle. Governor Malloy, for now at least, is saying cuts must trump tax hikes to close a projected $3.67 billion shortfall he inherited. This is not welcome news for Mayor Bill Finch in an election year. Please governor, urges mayor, increase taxes so we’ll have more moolah to channel back to Bridgeport. Malloy is doing something as governor that Finch failed to do as mayor: trumpet the fiscal mess immediately.
Gov. Dannel P. Malloy has insisted for weeks that closing the state’s huge budget deficit will require both spending cuts and tax hikes. Tuesday he made it clear that the former should play the larger role.
During an afternoon meeting with departmental commissioners, Malloy announced his budget proposal for the next two fiscal years would cut $2 billion from the projected annual cost of maintaining current services.
Based upon the $3.67 billion shortfall projected for the 2011-12 fiscal year, by the legislature’s nonpartisan Office of Fiscal Analysis, nearly 55 percent of the shortfall would be eliminated with spending cuts.
And since Malloy also reaffirmed his position Tuesday that the deficit should not be closed with borrowing, that leaves nearly $1.7 billion to be raised in new revenue.
“What I’m trying to do is move this state into position where it can compete with other states, and where (the recovery) is sustainable,” Malloy told Capitol reporters after the meeting.
Mayors are so reliant on moolah from the state as they build their on own budgets. Finch will be on the horn to his local legislative delegation. “Make sure we don’t get killed!”
This is just the start of a process for Finch to submit his April budget to the City Council. I still have a feeling Finch’s election year budget will be loaded with fairy dust, no matter what. “Oh, yes, we’ve submitted a budget with no tax increase!” (Doesn’t matter it has a $20 million hole.) Problem is someone, or something, must fill that hole after the November election.
Hey mayor, how’s that $600 tax cut you promised!