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Sunday, April 16, 2017

Leaving Connecticut

As a state, Connecticut has been a relative failure for the last decade at least.  The state has fewer people as workers flee to lower taxed areas and older folks move to warmer climates.  After each big tax increase pushed through during the Malloy years, there has been a big move out.  Not only are the tax increases pushing people away, they are also pushing businesses out.  Job growth in Connecticut is among the lowest among the states.

It's worth remembering what happened in the last fifty years.  In the 1960s, nearly a third of the country's largest companies had their headquarters in New York City.  City taxes were high, and state taxes in New York were higher still.  Meanwhile, in Connecticut there was no income tax.  As a result, companies started moving out of New York.  Some move far away, but many more just moved to the suburbs.  The city of Stamford in Connecticut started gaining major corporations as they fled the high taxes of NY.  by the 1980s, Fairfield County (where Stamford is located) had the third highest concentration of Fortune 500 firms in the country.  Connecticut grew both in population and wealth.  Then the state passed an income tax at the urging of independent governor Lowell Weicker.  It was low at first, nothing like the rates paid in the surrounding states on New York and Massachusetts.  Then, of course, the Democrat legislators did what they do everywhere:  they spent more and more and they taxed more and more.  The in-migration of companies slowed, stopped and then reversed.  In the last six years under Dan Malloy we have had the two biggest tax increases ever.  Now, there is an exodus of companies and jobs from the state.

I was reminded of all of this today when I read about the latest move out of the state.  The local cable TV company Altice has decided to move the news operations from Connecticut to New Jersey.  This used to be Cablevision until Altice bought that company last year.  Every Altice cable system in Connecticut has a station with non-stop local news and what they call "hyper local weather".  They have reporters out in the field gathering local news too.  With the move, even the local news reporters for Connecticut will be making their reports from another state.  If nothing is done soon, will there be anyone left here?

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