Let me first say that on behalf of the Town, I am in active communication with both GE and the Governor’s office and have been ever since GE’s announcement that it is considering leaving the State.
Here is what I have accomplished so far:
- I have been able to keep the communication flowing between GE and the State while the evaluation is proceeding. There was a lot of emotion initially. GE specifically asked that we keep the emotion and rhetoric to a minimum.
- I made certain Hartford understands all the ways that GE makes valuable contributions to both Fairfield and our region.
- I encouraged the Governor to reduce the impact on GE by making changes to the budget in the follow up “implementer bill.” These changes helped but I am not convinced they went far enough.
- I encouraged the State to make an as aggressive and competitive proposal as possible to convince GE to stay.
- I encouraged GE to listen to the State’s proposal.
The tax situation created by the recently approved State budget can only be solved by the State. Both Democrats and Republicans at the State level share the blame for not addressing these financial issues over the past twenty years. There is a responsibility on behalf of both parties to stop playing politics and to take seriously addressing the current tax situation. Whether GE leaves or stays, Connecticut still has major competitive issues and our State leaders need to combine their efforts to resolve these issues.
Unfortunately, there is a very real chance that GE will leave Connecticut or at least relocate enough of their staff to change their headquarters to another state. Both the State tax situation and recent decisions at the Federal level are affecting GE’s future planning. Nevertheless, on behalf of the Town, I will continue to facilitate communication between the parties and work earnestly to keep GE, an incredibly valuable corporate citizen, here in Fairfield.