March 14, 2010

Itchin' for Some Taxin'

Justin Katz

If you put your ear to the exterior walls of the State House, you might actually be able to hear the antiquated gears of the General Assembly's brains whirring a little harder to come up with a strategy for getting away with tax increases:

The plan was broadly outlined by Grafton H. Willey IV, co-chairman of the Rhode Island chapter of the Smaller Business Association of New England, an advocacy group for small businesses, and John C. Simmons, executive director of the Rhode Island Public Expenditure Council, a business-backed group that monitors the state’s finances.

Asked about the plan during a break at Tuesday's conference, DaPonte said that General Assembly leaders are "absolutely" talking about the possibility of revising the personal income tax.

With a variety of tax credits and other provisions, "Rhode Island [has] a very complicated tax code," he said. DaPonte said he is concerned not only about the system's complexity, but also about the personal income tax's top tax rate of 9.9 percent.

I don't know that I've ever read an article so thoroughly built around hints and insinuations, without any real indication of what "the plan" might look like. Of course, one doesn't need more than hints and insinuations to be concerned:

If the regular system's top rate were reduced, a flat tax "may not be necessary," DaPonte said. Costantino made similar comments last month.

This year the flat tax is 6%. One needn't be a professional political cynic to suspect that the likes of DaPonte will think that number is "not necessary" if the regular rate were, say, 8.5%.

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As it looks premised on being "revenue neutral" then its just rearranging the deck chairs to give the illusion that RI is not as tax uncompetitive as it really is.

Absent major cuts in state spending, nothing will change for the better.

And most businesses won't be fooled. RI will remain an economic pariah.

Posted by: Ragin' Rhode Islander at March 15, 2010 4:50 PM

1747| |Madigan, W. |2. J. 12/10/15. D. of Wds., France, “I do not think it will be necessary. The men won’t prowl about the camp finding no time to visit one's nearest relatives."

Posted by: at September 15, 2012 1:13 AM
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