Gov. Dannel P. Malloy tried his best to dance around questions Thursday about whether he would look to use the nearly $1 billion in excess revenues the state is expected to realize at the end of the year on some type of tax relief.
“Look, I’ll be talking to you in the coming days,” Malloy said. “We’ve been working hard on these numbers.”
Malloy is expected to unveil his budget adjustments on Feb. 5, the first day of the legislative session.
He said he waited to make his decisions about the state’s finances until after the Jan. 15 consensus revenue estimates, which projected revenues would increase nearly $500 million over the next three years.
“I’m in the process of making those hard and fast decisions and we’re going to speak to the people of Connecticut, not through party affiliation, but directly. Me to them about where I want to take the state in the coming years,” Malloy said. “I told them where I wanted to take the state three years ago. Where Nancy and I want to lead. We’ve gotten to that point and I’m certainly going to communicate directly with the people of the state of Connecticut about where we go from here.”
Pushed about where he would offer tax relief with the additional revenue, Malloy countered, “Why don’t you ask me whether I’m going to run for governor again?
“These kinds of questions are going to be repeated until I actually answer them,” Malloy said.
He said he felt obligated to wait to formulate his proposal until after Jan. 15 of where the state is going with respect to revenues.
“My hunch is you’ll know everything by Feb. 5,” Malloy said.
Earlier in the day Thursday, Republican lawmakers proposed using about $247 million for tax relief to businesses and individuals who purchase clothing, footwear, and over-the-counter medications.
Malloy didn’t comment directly on the Republican proposals.
“I take great pride in being a governor who inherited a state with a $3.6 billion deficit. We did some extraordinary things to turn that around,” he told reporters Thursday.
“In three short years we’re projecting a very large surplus — having also paid off 60 percent of the borrowings prior administrations engaged in not to make the kinds of cuts I need to make, and having reduced the total obligations to the state of Connecticut by $11.6 billion — I’m glad to have a discussion about where we go from here because I know how far we’ve come.”