House Republican leader Larry Cafero questioned the state’s proposed deal with Hartford-based United Technologies Corp. that is designed to help the company build a new headquarters for Pratt & Whitney in East Hartford.
Cafero compared the deal to one written by Gov. Dannel P. Malloy’s administration for Maine-based Jackson Laboratory, which is under construction on the University of Connecticut’s health center campus in Farmington. Republicans have criticized the Jackson Labs deal as essentially providing $1 million per job as the state is spending $291 million for a project in exchange for 300 jobs created by Jackson Labs. But Malloy says the Jackson deal will have major spillover effects and lead to a new era of well-paying jobs in bioscience.
Cafero made a rare appearance Monday at the finance committee, using his authority as a legislative leader to sit as a member on the General Assembly’s tax-writing committee.
Cafero asked state and UTC officials if he was reading the bill correctly that “if you never hire one extra person” that UTC could still receive 90 percent of the tax credits.
“Yes, that is correct,” responded Peter Gutermann, the general counsel of UTC Propulsion and Aerospace Systems.
In addition, UTC could lay off 1,750 workers and still receive 35 percent of the tax credits, Cafero said.
“Is that the best deal for us?” Cafero asked, saying that the deal on the credits is “what’s sticking in my craw.”
While bills at the state Capitol traditionally do not mention any companies or individuals by name, Cafero said this bill is “pretty much specifically for UTC” as it covers “tax credits that they would never be able to use otherwise” under “the structure we have in current law.” Continue reading