March 17, 2011

Fifth Highest State & Local Tax Burden: The Sacrifice isn't Really Shared If One Party Is Already Disproportionately "Sharing"

Monique Chartier

With difficulty, I'm going to disregard the spectacle of the governor attempting to sell his proposed $176 million sales tax hike as a remake of Rhode Island into a "tax haven" and just focus on one critical data point.

Governor Chafee has balanced his proposed budget with, on the one hand, suggested "cuts" that seem quite ethereal at this point and, on the other, a grimly real revenue stream that would represent "one of the biggest tax increases in state history".

He describes this budget as "shared sacrifice". This characterization contains a fatal premise: that the pre-existing budget burden or level of sacrifice is equal. Nothing could be further from the truth.

Rhode Island has the fifth highest state and local tax burden. Any addition - even one item, never mind the nightmare list proposed by the governor - to the state sales tax rolls would only exacerbate the already high level of sacrifice on one side.

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Only in RI can you increase taxes by $165M and have the Governor call it a "tax haven".

I think even better the other night was when Matt Allen was playing clips from Newsmakers and I heard Chafee's budget guy defend taking more money from taxpayers because they found that people are saving their money and the state government will instead spend it, put it into the economy.

Yes folks, our Governor's office says saving your money is bad. The government know better than you what to do with your money.

I almost drove off the road.

Posted by: Patrick at March 17, 2011 9:03 AM

I don't even know what side I'm on any more.

Posted by: michaek at March 17, 2011 10:19 AM

Uh oh, Chafee's turning Michael conservative...

Posted by: Patrick at March 17, 2011 10:39 AM

Carcieri made me a democrat, anythings possible!

Posted by: michael at March 17, 2011 11:04 AM

"We need a revolution every 200 years, because all governments become stale and corrupt after 200 years." - Ben Franklin

We are lonnnnnnnng overdue.

Posted by: Patrick at March 17, 2011 11:38 AM
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