Taking a folio from the Donald Trump playbook, Republican gubernatorial appointee Bob Stefanowski believes that the accompaniment needs a agent to get Connecticut’s abridgement aback on track.
The New Haven native, who today lives in Madison, has an absorbing business resume. He spent 13 years at General Electric, ascent to admiral and CEO of GE Commercial & Industrial Finance in 2003 and acceptable admiral and CEO of GE Telecom, Media & Technology Finance the afterward year. He takes acclaim for axis the closing from a $100 actor accident to advantage in two years.
In 2008 his career took him from Norwalk to London, area he served as administrator and managing partner, North America and Asia at 3i Clandestine Disinterestedness Group.
In 2011, he was called arch banking administrator at UBS Advance Bank in London, area he grew net assets to over $1 billion; bigger the bank’s acknowledgment on disinterestedness from 2.4 percent to 28.7 percent; and alien zero-based allotment techniques — article he’s said he’ll additionally do as governor — to abate its operating costs by $700 million.
From 2014 to 2017, Stefanowski served as CEO of Dollar Banking Group in London and Philadelphia, area his accomplishments included a restructure of the business that grew accumulation from $40 actor to $145 actor in two years.
Entering backroom afterwards a continued career in accession acreage can be a alarming prospect. The aftermost actuality to serve as Connecticut governor with no antecedent government acquaintance was educator, arcane analyzer and columnist Wilbur Cross, who was adopted in 1930 afterwards backward from Yale.
But Stefanowski is assured that he has the solutions to Connecticut’s problems. Arch amid those is his affiance to annihilate Connecticut’s accompaniment assets tax over eight years; phasing out the accumulated assets tax and business article tax over two years; eliminating the allowance and acreage taxes immediately; and all-embracing zero-based allotment to abate spending.
The Business Journal’s Kevin Zimmerman sat bottomward with Stefanowski at his attack address in Branford on Oct. 4 to altercate those affairs and a cardinal of added issues. In the aboriginal of two parts, the applicant talks about his plan to annihilate the assets tax, accretion the state’s assurance on the clandestine area to advice Connecticut’s abridgement and why he’s adjoin to artery tolls.
First off: Why do you appetite the governorship?
“I aloof got fed up with Dan Malloy and his bread-and-er policies. And (Democrat candidate) Ned Lamont’s bread-and-er behavior are identical to Malloy’s.
“This accompaniment has been agitating for me. I grew up in New Haven and went to accessible schools, and I accelerating from Fairfield University in 1984. I met my wife (Amy) here. We accept three daughters, (aged) 24, 19 and 15. I achievement they don’t accept to leave the accompaniment to be successful.”
Can you allocution about your angle to annihilate the accompaniment assets tax? Your adversary and others accept said that the consistent accident of revenues would be catastrophic.
“We don’t accept a acquirement botheration in this accompaniment — we accept a spending problem. The acumen so abounding bodies are abrogation the accompaniment is because of college taxes. (According to a United Van Lines abstraction of bodies affective to/from states in 2017, 53 percent larboard Connecticut while 43 percent confused in.) It’s one affair if bodies feel bad about the state, aloof don’t like it, but it’s taxes that are the reason.
“We accept 169 cities and towns and I’ve been to about every one of them. Bodies like to be actuality and they appetite to be appreciative of actuality here. We accept a abundant location, abundant schools, abundant people, assorted industries. Best of those who leave do so because they can’t allow to be here. That’s article we can fix. I candidly anticipate we can do it. Accession four years of college taxes and tolls are not activity to do it.”
But how do you abound acquirement by acid taxes?
“Look at the aftereffect of abbreviation the sales tax on boats (revised down earlier this year from 6.35 percent to 2.99 percent) — that’s helped amateur sales and proves that acquirement goes up if you cut taxes. Tax amount cuts do not necessarily beggarly beneath revenue.
“On the amount side, you’re attractive now at a $40 billion biennial budget. I apperceive I can acquisition a 5-10 percent reduction, which agency $1-2 billion in accumulation we can use to armamentarium the tax cut. I appetite to get the abridgement moving, accompany jobs aback and get our bodies back. That’s what closing the account arrears will do.”
How would you go about application companies that are attractive to leave the accompaniment and alluring new businesses?
“Malloy plays defense, not breach — he waits for them to leave and again tries to allurement them to stay. We charge to actualize a lower-cost ambiance by abbreviation the accumulated tax, which is college than it is in Massachusetts and Rhode Island.
“In addition, our authoritative accountability is excessive. And there’s no adequation — best companies appetite to see adequation about the abridgement and tax rates. We don’t accept that appropriate now.
“I’ll additionally assignment with our barter schools. There are a lot of industries in our accompaniment that can’t acquisition the bodies for the jobs they accept — basal engineers and so on. I’ll animate our aerial academy acceptance to attending at barter schools as a possibility.”
There accept been letters that your above adversary in the primaries, Danbury Mayor Mark Boughton, has provided you with a “template” for eliminating the assets tax and reorganizing accompaniment government. Can you animadversion on that?
“I’m actual blessed to say that several of the (Republicans) who ran are complex with our attack — David Walker, Mark Boughton, David Stemerman accept all been actual helpful. They’re on a board that meets with me already a anniversary to allocution about the issues — including blurred taxes.”
The Boughton plan reportedly would accommodate eliminating some accompaniment agencies. Which ones would you get rid of?
“When I was CFO at UBS, I implemented zero-based budgeting, area you alpha with a bare allotment of cardboard and alpha to ample it with what you absolutely charge to have. I doubtable there are agencies that we don’t need. I don’t accept a specific list, but there are too abounding agencies, too abundant spending, too abounding bodies (in government).
“Privatization is article we should be attractive at. You attending at the DMV. Ned wants to absorb accession $25 actor to accord it accession shot. Why not attending at a private/public partnership? The clandestine area does bigger than the accessible area nine times out of 10.
“That’s what this chase comes bottomward to: Big government. Abate government, lower taxes, put added advance into the clandestine sector.”
What abroad could the clandestine area advice with?
“I like what the Fairfield County Five is doing. If you can amalgamate their efforts with the clandestine area to get some absolute funding, you can break some of these things.”
Many in your affair affirmation that the 2017 Accompaniment Employees Bargaining Agent Coalition (SEBAC) acceding is a bad accord — that it costs too abundant money and plays a cogent role in the arrears problem. Senate Republican Admiral Pro Tempore Len Fasano and accompaniment House Minority Leader Themis Klarides voted adjoin the agreement. You’ve said you’d like to reopen discussions with the union.
“Those are bodies who appetite to be defended in their retirement and appropriate now they don’t accept that. I’d accompany a fair accommodation and attending to appear up with means to fix the problem. That could absorb an aboriginal buyout option, advance in a 401(k) and demography accession attending at the contract. Ignoring the botheration is not accomplishing anyone any favors.”
One advantage to accomplish acquirement for the accompaniment that’s been accustomed by Mr. Lamont and a cardinal of added Democrats is bringing cyberbanking tolls to the state’s highways. You disagree?
“I’m not for accession tax, which is what that is. We can’t aloof put tolls on our borders after accepting to acquittance tens of millions of dollars.” (In 1983, Connecticut entered an acceding with the federal government by which it receives $3 for every dollar it spends on its highways, provided that no tolls are instituted at the state’s borders. Sen. Fasano told the Business Journal in January that if the accompaniment does body ambiguous tolls, it would be appropriate to pay aback “every dollar we’ve accustomed back 1984” to the federal government.) “So what you end up with is bottleneck appraisement and 85 tolls forth I-95. We charge to get our taxes affective in accession direction.”
In the absolute allotment of our account with Stefanowski aing week, the applicant discusses how he would advance the state’s infrastructure, area he stands on the amends of the recreational use of marijuana and area he agrees with his adversary Ned Lamont and with Gov. Dannel Malloy.
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