Report: Atlanta, Dallas, Westchester possible options for GE relocation

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FAIRFIELD — Ever since news was released that the new state budget would increase corporate taxes, General Electric, which is headquartered in Fairfield, has been vocal about exploring other states to relocate to.

According to a report from Bloomberg News, the company has held exploratory talks about moving its headquarters to Atlanta.

GE may meet with developers in the coming weeks to discuss moving to the Three Alliance Center, a 30-story building going up in Atlanta’s Buckhead neighborhood. GE is evaluating other locations as well, including Dallas.

Meanwhile, New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo had an under-the-radar meeting with GE executives on July 30.

According to a report in Capital New York, a subsidiary of Politico, Cuomo traveled to Fairfield to discuss a possible move of the mega-corporation to Westchester County, just past the Connecticut border.

The company has been vocal about its displeasure of Connecticut’s tax policies, including the recently passed two-year state budget.

Sen. Minority Leader Len Fasano raised questions about why the State of Connecticut is preparing a taxpayer-funded counter-offer to try to keep General Electric in Connecticut when Democrat legislative leaders have stated the state budget will not be detrimental to GE.

“According to news reports, this counter-offer from state government will be laden with economic incentives which have not been disclosed,” Fasano said. “If these reports are true, then they contradict remarks made recently about GE by Democrat leadership in the Connecticut General Assembly.”

  • One Democrat lawmaker recently said GE could be bluffing and blustering about leaving Connecticut. The lawmaker questioned how it could be that GE might leave Connecticut because of high taxes. “They’re not paying any taxes,” the lawmaker said. “How much lower can their taxes be in a state?”
  • Another Democrat lawmaker has said of GE, “I think they doth protest too much.” The lawmaker has also suggested that GE’s harsh criticism of state tax increases may be a cover for Connecticut layoffs already planned by GE.
  • Another Democrat lawmaker said the revisions that were made to the state budget which Gov. Dannel P. Malloy signed into law are the result of listening to the governor, businesses, advocates and other senators. “I want to make sure that people understand that the Legislature has its fingerprints on this as well and we’re feeling very comfortable about the impact we had and the input that we had on this proposal,” the lawmaker said.

“If Gov. Malloy is preparing a state taxpayer-funded counter-offer for GE to ensure that the company keeps jobs here in Connecticut, I wonder if he has taken these statements from leading Connecticut Democrat legislators into account?” Fasano said. “These lawmakers feel strongly that GE is not negatively impacted by the new state budget. So why is Gov. Malloy prepping a taxpayer-funded aid package for GE less than two months after he signed the state budget into law?

“When Gov. Malloy signed the budget into law, he said, ‘I’m very proud to pass the budget as amended.’ He signed the budget while Democrat leaders laughed and applauded. These reports of the potential state tax subsidies to GE now make me question whether Gov. Malloy still considers his statement an accurate one.

“If GE is bluffing about leaving Connecticut, then why would Gov. Malloy offer them a lot of state taxpayer money in hopes they will stay?”