COMPTROLLER LEMBO STATEMENT ON FAILURE TO ADOPT TRANSPARENCY IN ECONOMIC ASSISTANCE|
Thursday, June 6, 2013 | Contact: Tara Downes (860.702.3308 | Tara.Downes@po.state.ct.us)
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"I am concerned by the state Senate's failure to raise HB 6566, An Act
Concerning Transparency in Economic Assistance - despite unanimous support by
the House of Representatives, broad public support, bipartisan consensus and the
bill's clear public policy value.|
"Our state invests hundreds of millions of dollars every year in economic
assistance and tax credits designed to promote economic development and job
growth. This legislation would have established key transparency and open
government measures related to these dollars.
"This legislation would have required the state to establish a publicly
searchable database for economic assistance and tax credit programs. The
database would have allowed the public to quickly and easily review the
performance of these programs and credits - including key data, such as the
number of jobs created or retained as a result of the assistance and compliance
with the conditions of the assistance.
"When hundreds of millions of dollars are spent or foregone every year to
promote economic development, the public has a right to know how these
transactions are performing. Most importantly, it would have compelled, by law,
that state government disclose important details about the investment of
taxpayer dollars - rather than rely on the discretion of any given
"The bill would have put the state on a path toward performing regular tax
incidence analyses. In addition to the right of every taxpayer to see how their
tax dollars are spent, this would have provided legislatures and policymakers
with more information about the impact of tax policy so that they can make
informed policy decisions. Which groups are actually bearing the burden of each
of our major state taxes? Do certain taxes disproportionately impact specific
populations? A tax incidence analysis will help to answer these questions and
lead to more informed tax policy decisions in the future.
"Establishing a clear and concise law requiring these disclosures would be
ideal. However, the good news is that government already has the authority to
establish this database - and disclose this state tax credit and economic
assistance data - on its own in the absence of legislation, which I hope the
administration will do and I will continue to urge.
"In the meantime, I'm incredibly grateful for the overwhelming support from
advocates, the House and significant support within the Senate - a bipartisan
group of thoughtful legislators who worked cooperatively to find common ground
on this initiative."