The following message is from State Rep. John Shaban, a Republican whose district includes Easton, Weston and Redding.
EASTON, Conn. Connecticut companies need a stable regulatory and tax environment to thrive in this state. That was the message Easton resident Tom Auray and others gave State Rep. John Shaban recently when the lawmaker toured Bridgeport Fittings in Stratford, a company owned by Auray's family for generations.
Auray hosted Shaban, who represents Easton, Redding and Weston, as well as Gov. Dannel Malloy and other state officials and local business owners. Together, they discussed the current state of Connecticut's economyspecifically, improving the current business environment.
Auray's company is one of the few remaining industrial manufacturing companies in Connecticut. The greater Bridgeport area was once an epicenter of Connecticut manufacturing.
"Aggressive overseas competition and, more recently, a poor economy have taken their toll on an industry once considered the state's flagship," said Shaban, a member of the legislature's Finance Committee. "The last thing business owners need is the government meddling in their affairs. Enterprise craves certainty, and unfortunately, folks who run the remaining Connecticut manufacturing firms have seen very little of it in recent years."
Connecticut's legislature has become infamous for the cloud of uncertainty it drapes over employers, Shaban said, being consistently ranked as one of the least business-friendly states in the country.
"Industry leaders like Tom Auray and the other employers who attended this forum don't know what's coming next," Shaban said. "This year, the governor and majority party delivered onto these leaders the doubling of the corporate profits surcharge, increased income, sales and energy taxes, new costly labor laws and more red tape. It's a toxic atmosphere."
Shaban said that, while well-intentioned, the governor's headline-grabbing financial-aid package to a select few companies is not the long-term solution Connecticut needs.
"Government programs that put patches on sinking ships are nice, but they do little to improve the fundamental problem," Shaban said. "Employers need to be profitable to survive. And uncertainty from new taxes and needless regulation all hurt employerswhich in turn hurts employees."
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