Governor Says GE’s Departure in Connecticut Shows Need for Lower Taxes

Oklahoma Governor Mary Fallin is trying to showcase General Electric’s departure from the state of Connecitcut over taxes as the reason she has worked to lower taxes in Oklahoma.

GE, the company in the midst of constructing an energy research site in downtown Oklahoma City announced this week it was abandoning its 42-year old headquarters in Fairfield and seeking a business environment that “shares our aspiration.”

So said Chief Executive Jeff Immelt who explained the company is moving to Boston.

“We want to be at the center of an ecosystem that shares our aspirations,” he said as the company will get incentives and grants of up to $120 million from the state of Massachusetts and $25 million in property tax relief from the city of Boston.

“This hurts,” admitted Gov. Dannel P. Malloy. Governor Fallin had a different take.

“This is precisely why we know lower taxes influence where businesses go. High taxes are job killers and hurt families’ disposal income,” said the governor who also defended not postponing a 0.25 percent income tax cut that took effect this month. “If Oklahoma wants to attract and retain good jobs—rather than losing them to neighboring states–we must improve our tax climate.”

The governor used the GE move to state that the budgetary impact by Oklahoma’s income tax cut will be only a little more than 10 percent of the projected budget hole.

“Oklahoma would still have over an $800 million budget hole even if that tax cut hadn’t taken effect.”


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