Published articles in the Wall Street Journal and the Waterbury Rep-Am paper on Nov. 22 describe the sale of the former GE facility in Fairfield to Sacred Heart University for $31.5 million. As previously reported, GE moved to Boston after threatening to move out of the state due to the budget and tax policies of the Democrats that rule Hartford and the state. Gov. Dannel Malloy’s attempts to keep GE here did not bear fruit, and the company left after having been headquartered in the state since 1974.
The sale of the 66-acre GE campus to the university could be construed as a final poke in the eye to the Malloy administration. As the former owner, GE paid the town of Fairfield $1.6 million a year on taxes, but because Sacred Heart is an educational institution it will pay no taxes to the town on this property.
However, according to the WSJ, Sacred Heart’s president John Petillo said that Connecticut is estimated to reimburse Fairfield for about $400,000 in lost property taxes. Can we presume that the state will do this each year going forward? If so, where is that money coming from as this state is already fiscally broke.
The town will have to make up the remaining lost $1.2 million in tax revenue by attracting new businesses, cutting spending and raising property taxes on the remaining residents and businesses, which will create hardships on those remaining in Fairfield.
The anti-business climate that the Democrats have created over the past 30 years in this state has caused this to happen, and it appears that some unintended consequences of their policies have come home to roost in Fairfield with the sale of the former GE property.
In addition to the loss of GE, a prestigious U.S. company, the fact that it seems that the state will now have to contribute funds to partially offset the loss of property tax revenue to the town of Fairfield is yet another poke in the eye to the Malloy administration. We will be fortunate if there are not more instances of similar situations coming at us in the future.
Craig Hoffman lives in Cheshire.