got to do.”
‘ An effort to hold the line’
What Lamont can do will be limited by a budget that is projected by state Comptroller Kevin Lembo to run a $ 158 million surplus for the fiscal year that ends next June before hitting major deficits in coming years; and a General Assembly that did not back Malloy’s initiatives across the board.
Lamont said he will phase out Connecticut’s
business entity tax that generated $ 45 million in revenue in the 2017 fiscal year, which amounts to only $ 125 a year but is maligned by many business owners for its application regardless of whether a company turned a profit.
The incoming governor would also reduce Connecticut’s capital stock tax — at 0.37 percent of a company’s assets last year the highest of 16 states that charge one, according to the Tax Foundation — without saying by how much. Like New York, which is currently phasing out its own capital stock tax, Connecticut levies the tax
only if the revenue would exceed that it would collect from taxes on business income.
And Lamont would waive taxes on personal property for businesses with less than $ 10,000 in qualifying assets. The governor- elect acknowledges the state would lose little revenue but maintains it is a headache for small businesses.
“We’re going to hold the line on the income tax … ( and) I will reduce the property tax, just enough to let your people know that we’re making an effort to hold the line there,” Lamont said
during an Oct. 30 debate at Foxwoods Resort Casino. “I’m going to be ruthless when it comes to looking at our health care expenses, looking at pension reform, looking at the big- ticket items that allow us to get this state going again.”
‘ One step at a time’
Asked at a mid- September debate in New Haven on his policy regarding financial incentives for businesses — a major leg of Malloy’s economic development efforts ranging from “First Five” grants for corporations to Small Business Express loans — La-
mont suggested Connecticut will replace handouts with high- touch engagement to land growing companies. His business advisory team includes fellow Greenwich resident and former Pepsico CEO Indra Nooyi, who had been credited with opening a channel to the CEO of the information technology outsourcing company Infosys, which will receive at least $ 14 million in incentives if it hits a target of 1,000 jobs in Hartford.
With Malloy having mixed success with incentives to spur job growth — major victories include Charter Communications
with my father. She was the one who really connected with him, and she met many times with him and me. That relationship really solidified the trust we have in the hospital’s leadership.”
Philanthropy’s importance to hospitals has grown as major regulatory and tax changes in the past 10 years have strained spending plans.
The 2010 Affordable Care Act led to lower Medicare payments to hospitals, as an offsetting move to finance the Medicaid expansion. Ensuing reimbursement rates to treat the growing ranks of Medicaid patients have created ongoing budget challenges.
In the 2017 fiscal year, Stamford Health’s reimbursement rate ran at 48 percent. Medicaid- insured individuals constituted 16 percent of its patient population.
For WCHN, the reimbursement level rate last year ran at 64 percent. Medicaid patients accounted for 16 percent of the total.
Yale New Haven Health officials were not able to immediately provide statistics on their system’s Medicaid reimbursement and participation rates.
Separate from the ACA, the state introduced in 2012 a gross receipts tax on hospitals’ net revenues. The levy was designed to help Connecticut qualify for more federal matching funds, but hospitals have reported only partial refunds for their tax bills.
“Times are changing, and reimbursements are not what they used to be,” Linhard said. “Pressures have grown from state and federal governments. If we’re going to build and bringing its headquarters to Stamford — Lamont said he hopes to rely more on the power of persuasion.
“We lead with a bribe, and it’s the wrong way to go,” Lamont said in midSeptember at the New Haven debate. “The First Five program was a disaster for the state of Connecticut, ( with) the governor picking and choosing. … You do it one step at a time going forward: not bribes, not incentives, not giveaways, not herky- jerky tax policy — consistency and reliability.” enhance anything, we’re looking to the community to help make it happen.”
Long- term strategy
Hospitals’ need for private funding likely will not diminish anytime soon.
Yale New Haven Hospital would need between $ 120 million and $ 150 million next year just to cover capital expenditures, including facility maintenance, estimates Kevin Walsh, the hospital’s vice president of development.
“Philanthropic support is critical now,” Walsh said. “And it’s going to be even more important as we go forward,”
Two years after opening its flagship building, Stamford Health’s next fundraising initiative could focus on programs and services such as those at the Bennett Cancer Center or others supporting women and children’s care and nursing education.
“We built this wonderful vessel, with the new building, and now we have to support the programs, people and services in it,” Riendeau said. “We want to take a broader view of what innovation means in health care.”
At the same time, hospitals garner many small donations. WCHN patients and families of patients frequently give contributions between $ 25 and
$ 100, as expressions of gratitude for their care, according to Linhard.
“You don’t have to give a $ 10,000 or $ 100,000 gift to make a difference,” Linhard said. “We love that we have donors at every level. It all makes a difference in helping us to make major investments and serve our communities.”