Governor's Taskforce Tackles State Business Tax Credits, Economic Policies

Source: DRS

March 16, 2012

Connecticut Department of Revenue Services (DRS) Commissioner Kevin B. Sullivan convened the first meeting of the Governor’s Business Tax Policy Review Task Force today, saying today’s forum is a sign of Governor Dannel P. Malloy’s different and broader vision for how government, business and labor must work together to rebuild the state’s fiscal and economic future.

Commissioner Sullivan said, “The very fact that the focused process we begin today is a joint effort by the state’s revenue services and economic development agencies is in and of itself fresh start. Our work is clear evidence of Governor Malloy’s commitment that tax policy, economic policy, and fiscal policy are inseparable and must be seen as such.”

During his presentation, Commissioner Sullivan said DRS is embarking on a new direction in its approach to taxes, the public, and the agency’s role in the state’s strategic economic policy.

“Our goal is to make the Department of Revenue Services an active partner in Connecticut’s economic renewal,” Commissioner Sullivan said. “Taxes are less important in business decisions than all of the usual rhetoric suggests, but taxes do matter especially in terms of clarity, predictability and simplicity. We do not want to encourage business tax shopping or come to see business tax benefits as entitlements. But it is also a real mistake to see businesses as revenue generators that are somehow expected to pay any price just to be in business in Connecticut. There are too many other choices in this global economy.”

Added Commissioner Sullivan, “Business taxes can encourage or discourage entrepreneurs, small business and re-investment. Other business taxes may just invite complex, costly tax avoidance. Above all, both tax policy and economic development policy need to be much more strategic than in the past and much better aligned. Fortunately, Governor Malloy really gets it and that’s what this task force will be all about.”

The task force’s second meeting will be a public hearing on March 29 where the group hopes to receive the general public’s input on the state’s business taxes, what is working, what isn’t working, and what speakers believe the state should do.

The task force’s final meeting will be in late September when the group will present a report to the Governor along with recommendations.