FAIRFIELD, Conn. — Fairfield First Selectman Mike Tetreau is imploring state leaders to stop playing politics and start addressing the tax issues that have led General Electric to consider moving out of Connecticut.
“Both Democrats and Republicans at the state level share the blame for not addressing these financial issues over the past 20 years,” Tetreau said in a statement Friday. “There is a responsibility on behalf of both parties to stop playing politics and to take seriously addressing the current tax situation.”
State and federal leaders have been working with GE, which has its world headquarters on Fairfield near the Merritt Parkway, to try to keep the company in Connecticut. On Wednesday, U.S. Sens. Richard Blumenthal and Chris Murphy as well as U.S. Reps. Jim Himes and Elizabeth Esty met with GE, the Hartford Courant reported.
GE CEO Jeff Immelt of New Canaan is considering the move after taking issue with recent changes in the state tax code that will cause increases in corporate rates.
The Courant, however, reports that GE pays a total of only $250 in state corporate income tax. But the report points out that GE employees do pay Connecticut income tax as well as local property taxes.
GE has looked at sites in Dallas, Florida, Atlanta, and Ohio as well as offices in Westchester County, N.Y., in White Plains, Somers, Armonk and Yonkers.
“Unfortunately, there is a very real chance that GE will leave Connecticut or at least relocate enough of their staff to change their headquarters to another state,” Tetreau said. “On behalf of the town, I will continue to facilitate communication between the parties and work earnestly to keep GE, an incredibly valuable corporate citizen, here in Fairfield."
GE employs 800 people in its Fairfield headquarters and nearly 5,700 people in other offices throughout the state. Its campus is down the street from Sacred Heart University, whose business school is named after former GE CEO Jack Welch.
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