June 4, 2008

Group Asks Fox to Raise Our Taxes

Marc Comtois

Dr. David Savitski, a child psychiatrist, was part of a group of East Siders that met with House Majority Leader Gordon Fox to ask that he raise "their" (that would be "our") taxes so that state services to "our most vulnerable citizens" aren't cut. John DePetro--taking a cue from Bob Kerr's column--had Savitski on the air this morning.

The doctor explained that the group was against short-sighted cutting because, they believe, such cuts will result in higher costs in the long-run. He explained that there were other ways to save money, citing inefficiencies in the structure and administration of state government that should be tackled instead of cutting services to people who can't complain. And he agreed with DePetro that groups that have gotten a "good deal from the state" should pony something up.

According to Savitski, Fox related that he couldn't get other State Representatives to go along with substantive structural change and while Savitski also said that we need to look at changing the tax structure--and we rely on the property tax too much--the final impression is unmistakable: Dr. Savitski and his fellow East Siders think the answer is in higher taxes, not cutting in other areas.

No word on whether the group was willing to voluntarily contribute more taxes on their own.

Comments, although monitored, are not necessarily representative of the views Anchor Rising's contributors or approved by them. We reserve the right to delete or modify comments for any reason.

When is the last time you ever heard of someone advocating raising taxes on "us" lead by example? Perhaps the East Siders could contribute their share of the 1/4 billion dollars planned for the Provideence schools. And do it not per capita, but based on a progressive rate calculation.

But +1 for citing inefficiencies in state - and local - governments.

Posted by: chuckR at June 4, 2008 9:59 AM

I can't say what Dr.Savitski does personally,since I have no idea who he is,but a lot of the rich East Siders shield themselves from high taxes.and those who don't aren't concerned with how to pay their bills.They are mostly elitists who have disdain for middle and working class people and suck up to the perenially empty pockets of society just as long as they don't get too close.It's interesting that an illegal alien can find a job within days of getting here while the multi-generational welfare parasites can never seem to find one.What's wrong with that picture?The working poor are those most deserving of a break,which is why the Earned Income Credit is a good idea.When I grew up in New York,heat and hot water were included in the rent-same when I lived in and around Chicago in the Seventies.Energy costs are killing low wage earners.How higher income taxes on middle class earners helps is a mystery to me.I think people like Dr.Savitski live in a prtly imaginary world.I get this feling whenever I talk to "progressives"that they trouble separating theory from reality.

Posted by: joe bernstein at June 4, 2008 10:08 AM

The state income tax form should allow taxpayers such as Dr. Savitski to contribute amounts above their tax owed to certain areas--the Department of Elderly Affairs, DCYF, etc.

Posted by: Anthony at June 4, 2008 2:51 PM

The Regressives just love stealing, err...I mean spending.. the taxpayers' money, don't they?

Maybe the good psychiatrist and his cohorts should get some psychological counseling for themselves --for their overarching feelings of entitlement.

Posted by: Citizen Critic at June 4, 2008 3:25 PM

One suspects that many of those people derive some or all of their income "providing services" that are reimbursed by the state, i.e., they themselves are part of Rhode Island's booming welfare industry. Their kind of "compassion" can be very lucrative.

As for the rest, reputedly Lenin referred to such people as "useful idiots."

Posted by: Tom W at June 4, 2008 6:33 PM

Doctors. what a joke. They probably have 90% of THEIR own money offshore.

Posted by: Mike at June 4, 2008 7:50 PM

"raise our taxes"

The good doctor and his fellow "lobbyists" strike me as well-intentioned but misinformed. It is not possible that they were aware of Rhode Island's tax ranking (fourth highest in the country), the current level of our spending on social programs (top third) and the eye-popping size of the state operating deficit (north of half a billion annually).

Higher taxes are decidedly not the answer. Marc C's reaction tonight on the Matt Allen Show to this suggestion was perfect.

Posted by: Monique at June 4, 2008 8:56 PM

Monique, I'm sure the doctor has heard about RI's tax burden, but more than likely he just doesn't care.

My guess is that he views issues based on his own personal experiences (as most of us do). So naturally, a child psychiatrist complains about cutbacks to children's services, just as one might expect a geriatric specialist to complain about cuts affecting the elderly.

The sad reality is that RI is in such a hole that it can't simply "cut the fat" to reach finanicial stabiity. RI is being forced to cut some quality programs that really do help people.

I'm sure the good doctor has no idea of the overall impact that raising taxes would have on families or on employers providing jobs. E

Even deep spending cuts won't be able to solve the state's long term problems.

RI desperately needs to expand its tax base and attract new businesses that produce tax revenue.

I'd love to see the state of RI awash in millions of new dollars in tax revenue. But the way to make that happen is through growth and bringing new taxpaying entities into the state, not to increase taxes on the already over-taxed.

Posted by: Anthony at June 4, 2008 10:16 PM

"But the way to make that happen is through growth and bringing new taxpaying entities into the state"

H'mm. Agreed but achieving that becomes a little quizzical with a schizophrenic General Assembly which, on the one hand, desperately wants the presence of lots of taxpaying entities to fund its profligate spending and, on the other, works very hard to drive them away.

Posted by: Monique at June 5, 2008 8:36 PM

One of the problems leading to the state budget deficit is the state of RI does not have enough restricted receipts accounts. Funds earmarked for a specific program and those funds in the restricted account can only be used for the identified program.

Right now, almost 95% of state receipts go into the general fund where they are spent as the GA wishes. RI needs to get a handle on its accounting and accountability procedures.

Case in point, Hawaii wants to start building in 2009 a $3.7 billion 20 mile elevated rapid transit system. They set up a restricted account and raised excise tax by .05% Jan 2007 for the next 16 years. So far because HI has a great economic economy the .05% has raised $250 million in 1 yr 3 mo towards the target construction amount. State has not indicated if the account is drawing interest but the funds are in an account for the sole purpose of pre-paying the construction without issuing bonds, loans or using other funds and methods causing debit.

If RI need to provide funds for schools and the lottery is earmarked to provide those funds then funds should go into a separate restricted receipts account. If funds are to go to cities and towns to provide tax relief and X amount of lottery funds are to be used then funds should go into a separate restricted receipts account and not general fund.

Also the budget should be based on actual receipts and not estimated. The law requiring balanced budget is based on estimated numbers and not actual numbers.

Posted by: Ken at June 9, 2008 2:01 AM
Post a comment

Remember personal info?

Important note: The text "http:" cannot appear anywhere in your comment.