Two legislative proposals are basically job taxes that will make it harder and more costly for job creators to do business in Connecticut.

Both impose a $15 minimum wage on certain employers, or force them to pay a tax of $1 per hour worked by each employee making less than that amount. They also were hot topics at the recent Connecticut Business Day at the State Capitol.

  • HB 6791 affects businesses with 250 or more employees, or the small, locally owned franchisees that are part of a larger franchisor organization whose Connecticut franchisees' collectively have 250 employees.
  • SB 1044 impacts businesses with 500 or more employees, as well as franchisees with a collective 500 or more employees.

One Business Day attendee said many of his law firm's clients are very small franchise owners that would be affected by SB 6791 and SB 1044.

He explained that his clients are expanding—but not in Connecticut—because the cost of doing business and government intrusion into the workplace has become too burdensome here.

A small construction firm that’s designed and built several large food and retailer stores in Eastern Connecticut said proposals like these, and Connecticut’s anti-employer image, have caused those food and retail businesses to stop expanding in the state.

Some lawmakers claim SB 1044 and HB 6791 are needed because everyone making less than $15 per hour is receiving state services. Perhaps closer to reality is that with the state facing a massive budget deficit, these proposals are a way to generate more General Fund revenue from businesses.

According to the nonpartisan budget office, SB 1044, the less expansive of the two bills, would cost employers $152 million in year one, and more than $300 million each year thereafter.

No other state has needed to rely on this type of punitive tax to balance their budgets and make it harder and more expensive for job creators.

We've seen what this path has meant for Connecticut—lost business, lost jobs, and lost state tax revenue from economic activity that’s moved out of the state.

Many employers also look to cut costs where they can, often by doing away with full time employment opportunities and replacing them with lower wage, part -time employment opportunities.

SB 1044 and HB 6791 only perpetuate this cycle.

Instead, lawmakers should stop entertaining bills like SB 1044 and HB 6791 and adopt policies that will attract businesses to Connecticut.

For more information, contact CBIA’s Eric Gjede at 860.244.1931 | | @egjede