Former Gov. Lowell P. Weicker Jr., who reluctantly implemented the income tax in 1991, will make a rare public appearance this week to discuss Connecticut’s current budget woes.
Described by Time magazine as the “Gutsiest Governor in America” back in 1992, Weicker has often been referenced as the type of leader the state needs to address what is expected to be a $3.37 billion budget deficit next fiscal year.
It’s likely the six gubernatorial candidates will be taking note, even though at least one of them have said they won’t increase taxes, if elected.
The promise of no tax increases is something Weicker himself promised on the campaign trail in 1990, but once elected he reversed himself arguing it was the only way to fix the budget deficit. Weicker vetoed three budget proposals that year because they didn’t include an income tax.
The income tax was supposed to smooth out the up and down cycles of the state budget and provide a steady stream of income for generations to come.
In 2003 when the state faced a close to $1 billion budget deficit, Weicker told the Hartford Courant “If you’re going to spend it, it’s not going to smooth out anything.”
Weicker is scheduled to speak Thursday, June 17 to the Connecticut Conference of Municipalities in Cromwell.
Weicker currently serves as president of the board of directors for Trust for America’s Health, nonpartisan health research organization. He also has been a director of World Wrestling Entertainment, Inc. since 1999 and is chairman of the Compensation Committee and member of the Governance and Nominating Committee.