NO GOOD DEED GOES UNPUNISHED DEPT.
STOP ANY ACTION UNTIL F.O.I.A. REQUESTS ARE COMPLETELY ANSWERED
https://ctmirror.org/2018/03/22/foi-complaint-seeks-documents-delving-fiscal-stability-panels-work/




EMERGENCY!!! NO GOOD DEED GOES UNPUNISHED DEPT.
INTRO:  Property Tax, CT has worse problems.  TRANSPORTATION.  Investment???  Regional taxation, property tax sharing?  COG power, referenda.  1/2 cent sales tax by COG to pay for regional efforts.  52% fixed costs in CT budget.  Communication between Finance and Appropriations - make it "ways and means" instead...Legislative Process must change - full time legislature - eh?  Roosevelt Island type thing in CT???


Q&A:  "GIVE ME YOUR CONSULTANTS' WORKING DOCUMENTS"
What do you call it when you have 4 Committees with 130 or so legislators present asking questions of two people?  Either the Spanish Inquisition OR perhaps a gang bang?

A big issue is transportation.


Eating us alive...discount rate unrealistic.  SEBAC.  Comm. Sullivan has data.  Consumption is the best tax.

.
  1. HOW? /Page 84 on transportation
  2. GIVE US YOUR BACK UP/Work papers backing up the back up too.
  3. HELP MIDDLE CLASS/G.A.S.B., D.R.S. Study. 
  4. ONLINE SHOPPING IMPACT/Statewide Property tax for education, stability
  5. DETAILS?/State Employee recommendations?  STEM?
  6. CONSUMPTION TAX?  Sales tax crossing the border

PUBLIC COMMENT AND COMMITTEES' QUESTIONS

YANKEE INSTITUTE, CCM, LABOR COMMITTEE
Tier One Employees debt...and mayors...and I'm out of here.  AFL-CIO opposition already noted.  Honest day's pay...PREVAILING WAGE - not in favor of the report.



ANYBODY HAVE ANYTHING NICE TO SAY?
Jobs?  How did you pick the members?  Implementer in October.  Black voices are not just black (people in suits) - Porter.  AFSCME, AFL-CIO.  AFT.  Suits.  Labor.  Hospital guy.  Yale Law student.(s) we've seen before in other venues.



WAIT A MINUTE!!!  HB5590
Alex Knopp asks for bond covenant piece be removed from already approved biennial budget.  (And it was.)


Next Governor of CT? Nope, withdrew.
Mayor of Hartford has friends in high place.




HOME PAGE

https://www.cga.ct.gov/fin/taskforce.asp?TF=20171205_Commission%20on%20Fiscal%20Stability%20and%20Economic%20Growth

MEMBERSHIP

MEETINGS:  #1, #2, #3, #4, #5, #6, #7, #8.


NEWS COMMENTS:  And we note 2-15-18 article below explains a lot about why there is a March First "Cinderella" deadline or "Ides of March" perhaps, for F.S.E.G.? 

PRO

THE HOUR: https://www.thehour.com/business/danhaar/article/Dan-Haar-State-urban-redevelopment-plan-could-12625509.php

CON


CTNEWSJUNKIE:  http://www.ctnewsjunkie.com/archives/entry/2018221_fiscal_commission_raises_300k_to_help_complete_its_work/
CTNEWSJUNKIE:
  http://www.ctnewsjunkie.com/archives/entry/2018215_fiscal_commission_creates_nonprofit_to_carry_out_mission/
CTNEWSJUNKIE:  http://www.ctnewsjunkie.com/archives/entry/20180124_municipal_leaders_would_end_collective_bargaining_for_benefits/
CT MIRROR:  https://ctmirror.org/2018/02/08/afl-cio-chief-suspects-fiscal-panel-is-anti-labor/

      
AETNA GETS THE RUG PULLED OUT FROM UNDER IT F.S.E.G. Chair. quoted.
Ha ha ha.  The double-whammy of a merger with CVS and NYC brush off sends Aetna packing back to Farmington - or maybe Hartford?  Some funny comments about "cluster" of insurance companies.  I have mentioned that back in 1966 I recall Hartford being referred to as "The Insurance Capital of the World" while also learnng about the corrupt political system in that city.





FISCAL STABILITY AND ECONOMIC GROWTH 3-1-18 P.H.  We watched LIVE.



LAST MEETING: Text to be online a a few days, press conference to come.


JIM SMITH

Final hearing and meeting.  Recommendations.  Connecticut Rising 501 (c) 3.to keep it in the discourse.

10 recommendations next



BOB PETROCELLI

  1. Revenue neutral initially, then positive.  Minimum wage to $15 over time.
  2. Income tax 5.74% top rate AND increasing progressivity.  Zero 2.1 billion reductiion in income tax receipts.
  3. Sales tax:  Low now (#41).  7.25%
  4. Corporation tax:  Income 'C' investor owned  Personal income pass thru corporations - both 'c' a    .8% employee top
  5. Tolls
  6. Joint Committee instead of Approps and FRB
  7. Teacher and unions benefits should be done by legislature
  8. TIRS changes contribution levels
  9. CRDA to other cities - Roosevelt Island vacant land
  10. Diversify municipal revenue sources.  Regional referenda.  Authorize .5% sales tax in COGs for regional things and service delivery
        
Members chime in on the great experience.  Unanimous vote in favor.

 
AWESOME
Recapture.  Minimum targets.  Press conference by Jim & Bob.- Noose getting tighter.


It is all or nothing - that's the Plan! 
See their 10 step process to economic wellness...back up research to come onlone at OPM:  https://www.cga.ct.gov/fin/taskforce.asp?TF=20171205_Commission%20on%20Fiscal%20Stability%20and%20Economic%20Growth

CTNEWSJUNKIE
http://www.ctnewsjunkie.com/archives/entry/commission_calls_for_reduction_in_taxes_end_to_collective_bargaining_for_be/

CT MIRROR
https://ctmirror.org/2018/03/01/state-tax-overhaul-key-plan-revitalize-ct/

COURANT

http://www.courant.com/business/hc-competitiveness-commission-20180301-story.html









FISCAL STABILITY AND ECONOMIC GROWTH 2-9-18 P.H.  We are not watching LIVE.


MORE HEARINGS...
Reform.  Municipal assistance.  Information gathering.


     
C.E.A., AFL-CIO and AFSCME (not pictured).  To come, non-profits...1:08 of 4:24
Labor, non-profits, unions.  Property tax villain. Internet tax.  Regional schools, share property taxes.  Erase Town boundaries?

We check out one quarter of the way in...will return later...no silver bullet.

    
AND ON TO 1:41, CONTINUING MAKING THE UNION CASE
Union guy...and another half hour.  And another familiar face from the SEBAC business.
   
Pressure to recognize "Social Debt." 
The non-profit contribution came next from Youngstown OH.  Infrastructure investments.  Future impacts...2:21.  We note this article:  http://www.ctnewsjunkie.com/archives/entry/2018215_fiscal_commission_creates_nonprofit_to_carry_out_mission/

NOW WE KNOW WHY...
We did not watch the rest of the public hearing.  The waters having been muddied by the suggestion that OMG the Commission that they had created but given no funding for - "F.S.E.G." - would dare to try to actually make credible suggestions.and hold public hearings and listen to experts.  By the method of creating a 501 (c)3 to raise money for their efforts.


Remember the CT cul de sac?  More testimony came from CT21:  Please visit their website
https://www.cga.ct.gov/fin/tfs/20171205_Commission%20on%20Fiscal%20Stability%20and%20Economic%20Growth/20180209/Bob%20Guenther,%20Executive%20Director,%20The%20CT%20Institute%20for%20the%2021st%20Century.pdf

How about C.E.R.C.?  A respected data accumulator.  Below part of their presentation.
https://www.cga.ct.gov/fin/tfs/20171205_Commission%20on%20Fiscal%20Stability%20and%20Economic%20Growth/20180209/CT%20Economic%20Resource%20Center%20(CERC)%20Testimony%20-%20Final.pdf






G R E A T    A U D I O
F.S.E.G. fifth meeting, we thought, at the Capitol at 9am on Wednesday, Jan. 31, 2018.  The real meeting agenda here...and no VIDEO only audio.


STABILIZE ECONOMY.  WE ARE CHEATING OURSELVES BY LYING ABOUT UNFUNDED LIABILITIES - O.P.E.B. PAYMENTS.   COMPETITIVENESS PRINCIPLES - UNFUNDED LIABILITIES
Captures the 5 meetings so far and notes that unions will be speaking at a future meeting.  Co-Chair. commends Mayors on PILOT.  Governor's transportation recommendation.  Slide showing deficit slide.

PRESENTATIONS: Co-Chair. points out pensions & debt service WOW: https://www.cga.ct.gov/fin/tfs/20171205_Commission%20on%20Fiscal%20Stability%20and%20Economic%20Growth/20180131/Agenda.pdf

CLASS ACTION SUIT WAITING TO HAPPEN?  Tax pension benefits is the answer.
https://www.cga.ct.gov/fin/tfs/20171205_Commission%20on%20Fiscal%20Stability%20and%20Economic%20Growth/20180131/Jim%20Loree%20Presentation.pdf

Co-Chair's presentation was first:
https://www.cga.ct.gov/fin/tfs/20171205_Commission%20on%20Fiscal%20Stability%20and%20Economic%20Growth/20180131/Smith,%20Patricelli,%20Millstein%20Presentation.pdf


Pressure.  Assets monetized???  Create new sources of revenue.  Create a R.E.I.T. real estate management not government's strong suit.

Commission on Fiscal Stability and Economic Development - Potential assets that can be monetized by virtue of putting land back on the tax rolls.
Incremental Tax Revenue Streams

A monetization of select municipal water systems would not only benefit the municipalities they serve, but would also mitigate the State’s municipal aid obligations

Although this presentation is focused primarily on State-level transactions, a separate discussion of this topic is encourage


QUESTIONS. 
Why this way?  Do it in-house because it is less expensive and quicker.
Credit worthiness of the state if assets relinquished?  Ans.  CT has to improve its credit profile.  Dedicate lottery to pay union retirement payments.  Who is doing lease back?   Lots.  What would be the process?
Lottery?
Why unfundedness?  Ans.  Discount rate used was almost as bad.  Currently?  Ans.  New tiers are an improvement.
How bad?  Ans.  You are going to have to cut things.
Sports betting???


MEDICAID - CT an outlier.  Self-managed not popular option.  Fee for service???  Private not for profit could do it better.

Municipal aid, local revenue sources, and shared services
Tax exempt property PILOT.  Not for profits.  One of only 2 states that has a PILOT program.
CCM recommendations.  Can town merge?  Transportation in a different workstream.


STANLEY WORKS
Similar to CT now - restructured...no revenue growth now.   Our comment:  Good luck!


LACK OF PRO-GROWTH POLICIES
Keep rich people here and small businesses.  STEM and entrepreneurs.  CT should align taxes with federal rules.  Quotes Commissioner Sullivan.  Workforce.  Migration.

We're outa here - but great job by everyone...we've been watching for @3 1/2 hours.





"Cities and Transportation"


This is a curve ball.  Another New Haven public hearing...this time it is online here:  http://www.ctn.state.ct.us/ctnplayer.asp?odID=14932

We are watching on replay and note that we did not know about this one.

AIRPORTS

NO PUN INTENDED...

  
POWER OF CONCENTRATING
Mayor Bronin makes tax sharing argument.  Cities too small.  Over-reliance on property tax.  What would cities give in return for PILOT changes...


REGIONAL VOLUNTARY COOPERATION
Expresses needs for more rural communities.  And other regional planners spoke too.  Winners and losers in regionalization.












After current agreement, changes should be ready to be implemented.


A receptive commission to her presentation - more detail asked.


Spot on comparing bottom up-top down effectiveness.

C.B.I.A.


C.B.I.A. very effective.  Economy shouldn't be a zero sum game.
 


Quotes Mike Imber!!!


INCOME TAX SHOULD BE BROAD BASED
Tax stuff.  Consistency plus llc changes.  INCOME TAX.  Over time, the tax has changed into volatile.  Property tax not as significant.  Lunch break.




COMMISSIONER BREMBY:  "If you've seen one medicaid program...you've seen...one program"


MEDICAID
This is part of measuring cost trends.  Technology help from Federal Gov't.  Online renewal.  Medicaid payments twice a month.  See it as an investment. 


DATA PROVIDED
Questions re:  Children and families, elderly, low income adults needs.




RESOURCE RICH COMMUNITIES
Hey no problem, just regionalize property tax.  State Property tax to level the playing field.  Education costs tied to this.  This money should be outside the Spending Cap.  Revamp Teacher Retirement.

"Frankly, Connecticut can afford this" - this being the cost of state and local government. 



COOPERATIVE VENTURES
Do everything by regions.  Region savings.  County funding question.

At 3:15pm we are stopping our viewing to attend the Special Board of Finance meeting...will resume watching when CT-N has it uploaded...we picked up Thursday and watched

...Recommendations:  Merge towns, like New Jersey.  ACIR get more power. School bus funding efficiency.  Regional Council of Governments given "county" status - not another layer.

        
SPENDING CAP
"Doomsday Bond" issue.  Didn't Harry Houdini come from CT?  How is this testimony like "magic?"

CT VOICES FOR CHILDREN

        
ROBIN HOOD LIVES
CT Voices for Children calls for taxing wealthy more.  Spending Cap Commission invoked again.  Eversource guy asks how she thinks this will happen? Spend more.  Tax non-profits?  Reform tax code.

      
STATEWIDE PROPERTY TAX
Bingo!!!  About Town had suggested this might be a solution previously - see except from a previous column published in the then "Weston FORUM":

 
CONNECTICUT VOICE FOR "PROGRESSIVE" POINT OF VIEW
WHO REPLACED FORMER SPEAKER OF THE HOUSE FROM HAMDEN - WHO ESTABLISHED THE M.O.R.E. COMMISSION AS HIS WAY OF GETTING AT THE SAME ISSUES.



Return on investment.  Questions: 
Change back to old Spending Cap non-limits, pisses on Yankee Institute.  "Transparency" hah.


CO-CHAIR.
Great questions on vessels from boating lobbyist.  Adjourned after more the five hours.








WILL THESE, #3 AND #4,  BE "PUBLIC" HEARINGS OR INVITED GUESTS FIRST...?





PUBLIC HEARING opened by Co-Chair. - has CCM, COST and Capital Region testimony.  Mayor O'Leary of Waterbury.



Council of Small Towns
12-123 Supplemental tax bills.  Small towns getting very little.  Coupling mandate relief coupled with state aid (lack of it).  Eversource  asks excellent questions.

      
C.R.O.G.
FASTRAK, Springfield to Hartford and then a link to Boston by train.  Politically fraught.  Scale of towns make PPP's not reality.

PUBLIC


PUBLIC
Gary LeBeau recommends one-house of Legislature, larger districts and shows a total lack of respect for the process.

We are out of here at 4:35pm





We get our news of the second meeting from the COURANT (our summary below):  http://www.courant.com/business/hc-news-commission-fiscal-stability-economic-growth-20180108-story.html#nws=true





And the HOUR report here on first meeting. 


Familiar faces - from a secondary source and there are 3 more members yet to be appointed to follow up on thoughts of previous bodies - i.e.Spending Cap Commission.  Regionalism discussed.  TO DATE:  No unions on this panel or minority voices or voices for children.  Who will have missed this first presentation of financial picture and transportation melt down.

PRESS REPORTS ON THE SUBJECT

CTNEWSJUNKIE:  http://www.ctnewsjunkie.com/archives/entry/connecticut_loses_jobs_in_four_of_the_last_five_months_12_21_2017/
Hartford Courant story here:  http://www.courant.com/business/hc-biz-business-leaders-20171215-story.html


FISCAL STABILITY & ECONOMIC GROWTH COMMISSION - 7 OF 11 MEMBERS PRESENT IN DECEMBER APPOINTED BY THE GOVERNOR, ONE EACH FROM LEGISLATIVE MAJORITY/MINORITY


S T R A T E G I E S  :   B L A M E    G A M E    O R    C R E A T E    A   N E W   E N T I T Y ?   W H E R E   I N    T H E    I M P L E M E M E N T E R    W A S   T H I S    A G A I N ?   Did they have a quorum?


"
If at first you don't succeed, try, try again"

For our observations of related entities...

CT TAX PANEL FINAL REPORT:   https://www.cga.ct.gov/fin/tfs/20140929_State%20Tax%20Panel%5CCT%20State%20Tax%20Panel%20Final%20Report.pdf

CT SPENDING CAP COMMISSION (did not adopt a final report or recommendations):  About Town online coverage here.

CT ECONOMIC COMPETITIVENESS COMMISSION:  About Town online sporadic, we think, coverage here.

OTHER LINKS:

From Implementer - Statutory definition explanation of Spending Cap:  https://www.cga.ct.gov/2017/BA/2017SB-01502-R00SS1-BA.htm#P3122_315983

CT Institute for the 21st Century:  http://www.ct21.org/






Introductions - First Meeting December 14, 2017 beginning at 1pm



Ben Barnes first speaker - under 1% growth.  Says sales tax is suffering because economy has shifted.  Growth rate is 2%.  Estimated tax number might be the one to watch?  Income volatile...compare to expenditures 2.3%.  Expenditures should be lowet than revenues.  Growing fixed costs.  "Structural change" is not only state employees.  Not aware of unfunded liability "walk away" for States.  Legacy costs.

Questions:


3pm and Barnes still answering questions.  Such as a follow-up in Medicade matter.  Hundreds of millions more than we have to pay.  Regionalism question.  3:25pm break.


L-R:  Commissioner of DOT, Redeker; Yale connection guy;  President Trump and taxes;  former nice State Representative and Co-Chair. of Spending Cap Commission, Widlitz;  Commissioner of D.E.C.D., Smith.

Connecticut DOT
Commissioner Redeker in the house.  Yale guy Bruce Alexander - get rid of local zoning?  .Hasn't President Trump axed regulations for DOT?  Don't separate out any items.  And we noted Commissioner of D.E.C.D. present, too.

Yale guy says somethings has to change.
Is the State sustainable?  Will CT abilitiy to provide these benefits forever???

Inefficiency in transportation infrastructure.  Sad story and we'll run into a wall next session.  (link is to CTNEWSJUNKIE story about Republican candidates)  Congestion pricing brought up.  For Southeast.  "Let's Go CT!" is the answer.

Point of no return?
Personnel and transit will be devastated.  Capital side:  Within two tears deterioration will be a disaster.  Federal Requiremenrts have to come first.  CT headed for Armageddon - he said it, I didn't.

Recommendation on raising gas tax - withdrawn after objection - the Commission ends work March 2018.. FWIW -  Public-Private Partnerships for transportation in CT not do-able.

Next meeting in January - we missed the date but it was like half a day and if we heard correctly, it was to be at Yale.  Which means...no video?  NOTE:  Not on the Legislature's website for 2018 meetings at L.O.B.. 

Adjourned @5pm