While many factors have combined to create Connecticut’s fiscal crisis, ultimately, it will be state taxpayers and all residents who will have to bear the burden.

Here are the numbers so far:

  • Projected state budget deficit is $3.7 billion (for budget year 2011-2012)
  • Long-term debt (for state employee health care, retirement funds, state borrowing) is $70 billion

That means:

Each individual in Connecticut would have to pay:

  • $1,044 to close the fiscal-year budget gap
  • $19,953 to pay off the long-term debt

For a family of four, the tab would be–on top of usual state tax obligations–an additional:

  • $4,176 to close the budget gap
  • $79,812 to pay off the long-term debt

Taxpayers simply can’t pay those bills, and our economy can’t afford to keep digging out of the fiscal hole.

State spending has increased beyond our ability to afford it. Despite the state’s spending cap, budget increases have continued over the years to speed by Connecticut’s population growth and the rate of inflation. These numbers won’t just go away by themselves.

Most economists do not expect Connecticut to fully recover from the recession until the middle of this decade. Job growth will continue to be slow, which will also hold back vital revenues for critical services. Without tough corrective action taken by state government, every individual in the state would owe an enormous amount of money to pay off the debts if they came due all at once.

And, despite 9/11, the collapse of the financial services industry, the loss of more than 100,000 jobs in Connecticut and a very slowly moving economy, lawmakers have chosen—so far—to avoid dealing with the budget crisis. Instead of reducing state spending they have tapped one-time “allowances”—such as using up federal stimulus dollars and all of Connecticut’s Rainy Day Fund—and they have overtapped the state’s credit card.

It’s now time to face the facts and restore fiscal responsibility to Connecticut. Otherwise, the bill will come due—for all of us.

For more information, contact CBIA’s Pete Gioia at 860.244.1945 or pete.gioia@cbia.com.