STRATFORD, Conn. — General Electric's decision to move its headquarters from Fairfield to Boston is the fault of Gov. Dannel P. Malloy, Democratic leaders in the General Assembly, and their tax policies, says state Rep. Laura Hoydick, a Republican from Stratford.
“This is a blow to our region and to the people of Stratford that really can’t be understated,” said Hoydick. “When GE and other large Connecticut corporations first raised concerns about the massive tax hikes proposed during the budget deliberations last session, majority party leaders and the governor were dismissive.
"Of course, it isn’t just the massive tax hikes – it’s the state’s volatile and unstable economic policies they advance which cause these leaders to then turn to their reflexive tax hikes. These businesses don’t know what else is coming around the corner, but it’s likely not good.”
The Stratford legislator pointed to a “credit negative” issued recently by Moody’s Investors Services, a major Wall Street rating agency, after the GE announcement that it would leave the state. It is not a formal downgrade of the state’s credit rating, but "it does make a public statement about Connecticut’s financial standing and outlook," she said.
In the assessment, Moody’s noted that the state continues to struggle with budget deficits, low fund reserves, underperforming tax revenues and population decline.
“It’s time for this state to get serious about becoming competitive economically,” added Hoydick. “If it doesn’t, other large regional employers such as Sikorsky may feel the pull to more fertile economic ground shortly. That’s something this region and our state just can’t afford.
"We are witnessing significant concerns from the region’s non-profit sector as General Electric is among one of our most involved private partners. To lose them in this environment is devastating. With this last budget recision the expectation of getting more assistance from our non-profits will be difficult when their private contributors and partners are no longer in Connecticut.”
GE employs about 5,700 Connecticut residents, including 800 at its Fairfield headquarters. It is the town's largest municipal taxpayer, with $1.6 million in property taxes for its property near the Merritt Parkway.
GE will begin moving the first of 200 of its headquarters employees to Boston this summer. GE said jobs in Connecticut would be found for the 600 employees not making the move.