Foley takes aim at income tax with Malloy’s budget on the horizon

Greenwich Republican Tom Foley used his new public policy forum Tuesday to decry a state income tax increase one week before Gov. Dannel P. Malloy — who defeated Foley last November — is expected to propose a plan to close the largest deficit in state history.

In a paper titled “Don’t Kill the Golden Goose,” Foley raised an argument he frequently offered during his gubernatorial bid — that an income tax hike would drive wealthy taxpayers and jobs out of the state.

Malloy, whose administration declined to comment about his former rival’s new endeavor, must issue a budget on Feb. 16 that attempts to close a $3.67 billion deficit in 2011-12, a gap equal to one-fifth of all current spending. Foley campaigned on a message that he could eliminate the deficit without tax hikes, though he never outlined all of the spending cuts necessary to complete the task.

Malloy already has said he would close more than half of that shortfall, about $2 billion, through spending cuts.

The new governor has not said which taxes he would propose to increase, but he has said Connecticut must maintain a “substantial advantage” over neighboring states it competes against.