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.

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Keith M. PhaneufState Budget Reporter

Keith has spent most of his 31 years as a reporter specializing in state government finances, analyzing such topics as income tax equity, waste in government and the complex funding systems behind Connecticut’s transportation and social services networks. He has been the state finances reporter at CT Mirror since it launched in 2010. Prior to joining CT Mirror Keith was State Capitol bureau chief for The Journal Inquirer of Manchester, a reporter for the Day of New London, and a former contributing writer to The New York Times. Keith is a graduate of and a former journalism instructor at the University of Connecticut.

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