Sept. 3, 2017
So impervious to the damage caused by their agenda have Democratic
insiders in Hartford become that they did not even attempt restraint
after voting to protect excessive and lavish perks for themselves and
big labor special interests.
After passing the bogus SEBAC deal, legislators under the Gold Dome
promptly proposed yet another crushing tax hike aimed right at
struggling Connecticut families. Unable and unwilling to trim the
bloated bureaucracy in Hartford or reform the extravagant benefits
afforded to insiders and big labor, Democratic leaders want to
implement a $1 billion tax increase by hiking the sales tax to 6.85
An increase to the state sales tax would hit the most vulnerable in
Connecticut the hardest: the poor, retirees and anyone living on a
fixed income. These are the taxpayers who’ve already been hit the
hardest by the failed leadership and misguided priorities in
Just during the seven years our state has suffered under the
administration of Gov. Dannel P. Malloy, insiders in Hartford have
brought our state to its knees with the two largest tax hikes in state
These Democrats in Hartford are addicted to a job-crushing,
tax-hiking agenda that keeps the status quo intact for insiders, big
labor special interests and the bloated bureaucracy while throttling
opportunity for struggling Connecticut families, businesses and
This tax hike proposal puts in perspective just how misguided the
priorities of these insiders have become: While lawmakers demand
struggling Connecticut families pay even more, current and former
elected officials still receive free health care courtesy of the
taxpayers, legislators in Hartford can still count their mileage
reimbursements toward their pension calculations and a Democratic
judge who can serve less than three years on the bench will still get
a full, gold-plated retirement courtesy of Connecticut families.
Equally as alarming as the attitude of state lawmakers is the
silence of Democrats angling to be the state’s next governor on the
tax hike proposal.
Middletown’s radical mayor, no doubt spending too much time
cajoling with left-wing Wesleyan professors, has made supporting
future tax hikes part of his campaign’s message — and has not said
anything opposing the sales tax hike.
Comptroller Kevin Lembo has sat on information regarding the cost
and excessive nature of the perks given to insiders and big labor for
the duration of his tenure in office, all but endorsing every single
Democratic-passed tax hike. Lembo has played accountant for Malloy and
his insider allies for seven years.*
The rest of the large field of Democrats have been likewise silent.
Their silence sends a clear: If a Democrat wins in 2018, they will
continue the job-crushing, tax-hiking agenda of Malloy and his insider
This proposal, to hike one of the most regressive taxes the state
levies, shows what is at stake in 2018. We simply must elect a proven
reformer and Hartford outsider who will break this tax-hiking cycle
and unite the state around a new platform of reform — a program of
policies to support businesses, grow jobs and wages, rebuild our
state, restore opportunity and provide relief for struggling
Outside of Hartford, there are turnaround stories that show what
can be done when voters empower a reformer who comes from outside the
In Trumbull, we made the tough calls that have led to a remarkable
turnaround. When I took office, Trumbull was a town on the brink of
financial ruin. It is now one of the most prosperous and in-demand
municipalities in the state.
We solved a broken pension system, increased our credit rating,
increased our grand list and fund balance and have built a school
system that is among the most successful in the entire nation.
Connecticut taxpayers don’t have to accept the status quo that
means suffering through repeated tax hikes or fleeing for another
state. We can turn things around by being candid about the challenges
we face, standing up to the insider mentality in Hartford and getting
serious about reform.
Tim Herbst is the First Selectman of the Town of Trumbull and a
Republican candidate for governor in 2018.
*Note: This op-ed was submitted before news broke of Comptroller
Kevin Lembo's decision not to run for governor in 2018.
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Tuesday, September 19, 2017
Tim Herbst: Democrats in Hartford are Addicted to a Tax-Hiking Agenda
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