GE announces search for new home

Update: 2:11

The following is the email sent out to Connecticut GE employees by CEO Jeff Immelt:

“Last night, the Connecticut legislature passed a tax package which includes significant and retroactive tax increases for businesses in the state. The passing of this law, despite the concerns we raised, has serious implications for GE, other businesses and for the business climate in Connecticut.  Please see attached fact sheet on the current environment.  As a result of this law passing, I have assembled an exploratory team to look into the company’s options to relocate corporate HQ to another state with a more pro-business environment.  This will be a thoughtful process which will take many factors, especially employee impact, into consideration.  As the team makes progress, we will keep you updated.

“We only consider this after a lot of thought and in the context of our ability to compete. GE is a major employer in the state.  We purchase $14 billion in goods and services from Connecticut companies. Despite this, we have had a tough past decade in Connecticut. Our taxes have been raised five times since 2011, while support for our strategies has been uneven.  I believe we should pay our fair share and that all of us should give back to our communities. But, we can compare Connecticut with other states where small and large businesses have a better environment to thrive and compete.

“The new taxes will raise more than $1.9 billion. This will be the second highest tax increase in the state’s history behind only the more than $2 billion tax hike passed in 2011. Throughout the week we conveyed our concerns that these would not improve the competitiveness of small and large businesses in the state. We further reiterated those points in a public statement as the legislature began its budget deliberations.

“If you wish to register your concern, you can find your legislator by clicking http://www.cbia.com/ga/get_involved/contact_ct_legislators/ and all legislators can be reached through the Capitol switchboard at 860-240-8500. The decision to engage your representatives is, of course, voluntary.

Jeff

 

Original post: The chief executive officer of General Electric Co. has told employees the company has begun looking at the possibility of leaving its Fairfield headquarters.

The move comes in response to the Legislature’s adoption of a new two-year budget that raises business taxes.

CEO Jeffrey Immelt said in an email obtained by Hearst Connecticut Media that he has assembled an “exploratory team” to review the company’s options to relocate to another state with a “more pro-business environment.”

He cited “significant and retroactive tax increases for businesses” passed Wednesday night despite lobbying by GE.

On Monday, the company issued a statement before the budget passed that it would consider finding a new home.

“Reports that Connecticut officials intend to raise taxes by another $750 million are truly discouraging,” the statement read. “Retroactively raising taxes again on Connecticut’s residents, businesses and services makes businesses, including our own, and citizens seriously consider whether it makes any sense to continue to be located in this state,” the statement read.

 

Hugh Bailey