Malloy names new task force to assess state’s business tax breaks

Gov. Dannel P. Malloy created a new task force Thursday to determine whether Connecticut is getting the best possible return on its tax breaks for businesses.

Malloy issued an executive order to create the Governors’ Business Tax Policy Review Task Force, a nine-member panel that must report its findings to the administration by October.

“Over the last year, we’ve made every effort to reinvent our state, so that we could turn around twenty years of job loss and spur our economy,” Malloy said. “We sent a message across the country and around the world that Connecticut is open for business. This task force will make sure that Connecticut is getting a solid return on those investments by closely examining ways to reduce costs, improve efficiency, and ensure that taxpayer dollars are being used to create and retain good, permanent jobs for our workforce.”

The governor secured legislative approval last spring for his First Five proposal, which gave his administration great discretion to award “substantial financing assistance” annually to up to five new companies or existing businesses looking to expand. Eligible recipients must pledge to create at least 200 new jobs and can take up to five years to meet that goal provided they invest at least $25 million of their own funds in the expansion.

Malloy and the legislature also agreed in special session last fall on a bipartisan package of job stimulus programs.

The new task force will be led by economic development commissioner Catherine H. Smith and revenue services commissioner Kevin B. Sullivan.