Connecticut, what are you doing with your money? UPDATE

Yesterday, the Connecticut legislature passed a $40.1 billion dollar budget. Of course, it isn’t balanced but, Governor Malloy “hopes” to get $2 billion in concessions from the unions, after which, the budget will balance.  It includes some $2 billion in increased taxes including a “temporary” corporate tax surcharge on a 7.5% corporate tax rate.

Yesterday, the Florida legislature passed a $69.6 billion budget.  It is balanced.  It includes some $309 million in tax cuts, eliminating corporate taxes on many small businesses.  Governor Scott had wanted to reduce the corporate tax rate from 5% to 3.5%, but, the legislature turned him down.

This may not be an apt comparison, but, it did strike me as unusual.  Florida’s population is 18.9 million people, almost 6 times that of Connecticut (3.5 million people). And yet, Florida’s budget is less than 2 times that of Connecticut.

From a purely mathematical stand point, Connecticut’s budget is $11,398 per Connecticut resident, Florida’s is $3,682 per Florida resident.

Granted, Connecticut has to deal with snow removal and Florida does not, but, even with that, the difference does appear significant.

So, Connecticut, what are you doing with your money?


Mea culpa. 

Thanks to a comment from Rick, I learned that Connecticut’s recently passed $40.1 billion budget is for 2 years, not one.  As a result the above comparison is incorrect.  The reality is that Connecticut is only spending approximately $5657 per resident in the upcoming budget year, compared to Florida’s $3682 per resident in the upcoming budget year.

Again, mea culpa.

Posted in , ,


The Sound Off Sister was an Assistant United States Attorney for the Southern District of Florida, and special trial attorney for the Department of Justice, Criminal Division; a partner in the Florida law firm of Shutts & Bowen, and an adjunct professor at the University of Miami, School of Law. The Sound Off Sister offers frequent commentary concerning legislation making its way through Congress, including the health reform legislation passed in early 2010.


  1. Bolder63 on May 4, 2011 at 3:13 pm

    Buying votes for Malloy with his “Earned Income Tax Credit”,? the tax refund for people who pay no taxes!

  2. Plainvillian on May 4, 2011 at 4:46 pm

    When was the last time Corrupticut had a two party system?? Not in my 25 years here.
    We do have lots of really well paid legiscritters who are really good at computer solitaire played on their state provided laptop computers and while our population has remained the same for 20 years, we have doubled the number of state employees in that time.? Could these events be in any way connected?

  3. Political Entropy on May 4, 2011 at 5:36 pm

    Wow, SOS. Good question. What on earth is CT spending its money on?!? Or would it perhaps be better to find out what FL isn’t spending its money on?

  4. Gary J on May 4, 2011 at 7:25 pm

    well duhhhhhhhhhhhhhh I give it to the ct and US government because they know how to better give it away errrrrrrrr spend it.

  5. ctsbm on May 4, 2011 at 7:49 pm

    I see this everyday in my business. ?Families are just picking up and moving out of the state because they can’t afford to stay. ?How does Florida and many of the other states survive on such a low tax burdens? ?What do we have to do without to get to a point that we are competitive again? ?If these other states can do it, why not look at their models and do the same? ?Until we do, we’ll see many families and retirees leaving the state because they can simply live better lives elsewhere. ?

    I would really love to see Jim do a show on this subject. ?Not how to neatly prod the state into shape over the next 50 years, but scrapping the whole system and putting a working model from another state in its place. ?If we don’t, we’ll soon not have a choice.

  6. kvwilliams on May 4, 2011 at 8:27 pm

    How can anyone believe this budget will help create jobs? ?When the cost of living goes up, it means CT residents need higher salaries than those in other states just to meet basic expenses. ?Add that additional cost to the high cost of energy (at all levels) and taxes and I fail to see any company wanting to locate in CT. ?

    Tourists wanting to visit New England will certainly choose one of the other states where gas, hotel rooms and liquor is cheaper than CT.

    As businesses and people leave the state, revenue from income tax goes down. ?This is a “lose/lose” situation.

  7. Dimsdale on May 5, 2011 at 9:43 am

    Connecticut is paying for fat assed, Tier 1 union employees that won’t give an inch with their fabulous compensation packages.? Did you know many are not paying for their health insurance and can accrue unlimited sick/vacation days?? Now guess who infests the upper tiers of the union.? The lower tier employees are merely a buffer zone for the fat cats that are living large off the state of Connecticut.
    A second question: the Republicans gave a budget that cut spending and proposed laying off 2400 union employees.? Malloy’s budget continues/raises spending, greatly raises taxes, and is ready to cut 4000 state employees.
    Who is doing the math here?

  8. sammy22 on May 5, 2011 at 6:06 pm

    Well SOS, the comparison of the per capita budget is cute, but begs many points. Tell us for example how much FL spends on education. Some of my friends tell me that the FL educational system s….s.

  9. sammy22 on May 5, 2011 at 6:41 pm

    Every time someone floats out the idea of higher taxes for the rich, it gets shot down. The reason: the rich will flee CT. Now we hear from csbm and kvwilliams that the “non-rich” are fleeing the state. Pretty soon only the rich will populate CT. Ah, ah, ah…..

    • GdavidH on May 5, 2011 at 7:03 pm

      The “non-rich” cannot afford the job killing/middle class punishing NEW taxes. The uber rich are not affected by most of the tax increases. They pay high property taxes, but pay the exact same sales tax, gas tax, sin taxes as the poorer and middle class. I also know for a fact ( and I?could name names)?that certain “rich”, whether business owners or whatever, steer their “income” towards zero, using the tax code, to pay less income tax.

      And by the way….Hartford schools spend more per pupil than Simsbury. Tell us all how money makes all the difference in education.??Nonsense!

      And by the, by the way….Dims is right. There is no sacrifice?being shared.???

    • Dimsdale on May 5, 2011 at 9:59 pm

      Conversely, the poor and middle class will be most affected by the bulk of Malloy’s new taxes, particularly the fuel and gross receipts taxes.? And most of them can’t afford to move, like the uber rich.
      A flat tax is a fair tax.

  10. sammy22 on May 6, 2011 at 12:02 am

    So spending a lot of money/pupil gives “poor” results and spending little money/pupil gives “poor” results. Why spend any money then. Or should what should we learn from SOS’s analysis of the? state budget/resident number? Any result of consequence or bait for “discussion”?

    • GdavidH on May 6, 2011 at 10:00 am

      Pretty poor translation to what I said. How lefty your logic.?Simply put, spending more money does not guaruntee better results.

  11. Rick-WH on May 6, 2011 at 10:24 am

    The ?$ 40.1 billion budget for Connecticut is for two fiscal years. ?The $ 69.6 billion budget for Florida is for one fiscal year. ?So, the spending per capita is significantly closer between the two states.

  12. sammy22 on May 6, 2011 at 11:48 am

    I agree that the is no correlation between $ spent/pupil and test score results. Therefore, $ spent/pupil should not be used to imply anything more than what it is.

  13. PatRiot on May 6, 2011 at 1:19 pm

    2 guesses as to where the money is going:
    1.? By the irrational spending spree, I would say that the legislators?are?putting it up their? noses.
    2.? There are too many state workers (aka politcal favors) per capita and their pensioned predecessors.

  14. ctsbm on May 10, 2011 at 10:37 pm

    Even with the updated figures we are spending over significantly more per resident than Florida and many other states. ?While trying to find more information on our tax burden vs. other states I found this report? The report is from 2009, but details the tax burden for a hypothetical family of three at various income levels. ?We certainly stand out (for all the wrong reasons).


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