January 15, 2016
Today, General Electric made a business decision that it wants to be in Boston, an emerging center of innovation and technology. GE’s business has dramatically changed its business and focus—as evidenced by its sale of GE Capital—and it is transforming away from financial services into a very different company. GE has been extremely successful, over many decades, running its business out of Fairfield, but it made a decision to go in a different direction. GE will no doubt continue to be successful as it continues to have a significant number of its employees in Connecticut for years to come.
What is clear is that GE’s decision is not about taxation, it’s not about business taxes, it’s not about unitary/combined reporting, and it’s not about going to a lower tax jurisdiction. This is about GE’s business. As chairman of the Commission on Economic Competitiveness, my colleagues and I worked very hard to respond to GE’s concerns about taxation, unitary and combined reporting, and to respond to their suggestions about Connecticut’s business climate. We changed the budget, and the law, to address those concerns directly.
What is also clear is that Connecticut must focus on being even more competitive, even more focused on technology and innovation, bio-science and digital media, and more directed in how we compete in the global marketplace.
Connecticut has long been one of most prosperous states in the nation, with the highest income per capita, and a great place to raise a family. Today is a reminder that this is not enough. The Commission on Economic Competitiveness has begun an aggressive effort to analyze Connecticut’s economy, where we are strong, where we are weak, and where we need to go so our kids continue to grow up in one of the strongest and most vibrant states in the country, just as I have. We need to be part of the solution and there is much work to be done.