April 13, 2011

Sales Tax "Modernization" Gaffed: Gordon Speaks; Gov Backs Away; All Eyes Turn Keenly to the G.A.

Monique Chartier

The Pawtucket Times' Jim Baron reports.

Gov. Lincoln Chafee’s plan to radically overhaul the state’s sales tax structure is effectively dead.

After more than six hours of nearly unanimous testimony denouncing Chafee’s proposal to lower the state sales tax from 7 to 6 percent and broaden it to a vast array of goods and services that are now exempt, House Speaker Gordon Fox had heard enough.

Fox issued a written statement shortly after the finance committee adjourned saying “Governor Chafee's proposed multi-tiered sales tax approach is unacceptable … After speaking with a majority of House members, we will not support the current proposal.”

“The House will not pass the budget in its current form,” the Speaker announced. “We will instead develop alternatives to this proposal and will continue to work with the Governor to amend his budget submission.”

And, down the hall,

Hours later, Chafee apparently ran up the white flag. Rather than mounting a fight to save his proposal, the governor’s office issued a terse statement that said, “I look forward to working with Chairman Melo and Speaker Fox to advance an honest, responsible budget that fixes our chronic structural deficits and puts Rhode Island on a path to prosperity."
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3 months in and Gov. Goofee's already a lame duck, a mere afterthought.
3 months from now, his name will be purged from every official letterhead.
3 months after that, it'll be a misdemeanor to merely mention his name in public.

Posted by: Bobbbb at April 13, 2011 11:20 PM

Unless this is a kabuki move, it shows that when the broad public speaks up, the reps who have to run every two years hear.

But the devil is in the details. The solution is twofold (1) cutting way back on on "social services" to get the baby mamas and illegal alien welfare cheats to sponge off the taxpayers in some other state; and (2) repealing mandates and regulations that force up local taxes and the cost of living and working here.

We've never tried deregulation in this state. Nothing else has worked. Perhaps its time we did.

Posted by: BobN at April 14, 2011 6:07 AM

The elitist trust fund Guv got a virtual head slap and he isn't used to that.Good.
His evil Rasputin(apologies to our Rasputin),Licht has also been reminded that we wasn't elected to ANY office.

Posted by: joe bernstein at April 14, 2011 7:51 AM

More smoke and mirrors. Whatever happens over the next 10 weeks will be a travesty of one sort or another, be sure of that.
Last weekend I heard a distant rumor from my sources of this sales tax hike being replaced by a self styled "Patriot Tax"-a 2% surcharge on incomes over $100,000.
Stay tuned. Should provide a needed little boomlet to the Florida real estate market if nothing else.
The only good thing is that I can state with absolute certainty that Bearded Lady marriages are D-E-A-D.

Posted by: Tommy Cranston at April 14, 2011 8:58 AM

Though a wonderful outcome, I expect that it will lead to a negotiated budget and tax plan. That will be accomplished behind closed doors and will be dropped on the finance committee for passage without public review or comment. It can then be thrown to the floor for late night passage (with the usual carnival atmosphere) and move to the Senate for a quick vote, followed by...MORE OF THE SAME!

Did somebody say pension reform to help solve the budget problem? Yeah...RIGHT!

Posted by: John at April 14, 2011 9:11 AM

Not buying it. Fox was too bold and Chafee ran up the white flag to easily. The negotiations must have already begun. Fox needed to save himself before his constituency after the House raises fiasco but he also needs Chafee to sign his bills including same sex marriage. I'm not holding my breath for a better outcome.

Posted by: Max Diesel at April 14, 2011 11:51 AM

Given how the tax breaks for the rich made Rhode Island all sunshine and lollipops over the past eight years, the governor has some nerve suggesting anything besides more of the same.
Good on you, legislators and CEOs.

Posted by: bella at April 14, 2011 12:04 PM

Bella thinks Rhode Island is the way it is because of "tax breaks to the rich." That kind of delusion takes serious effort to maintain.

Posted by: Dan at April 14, 2011 1:58 PM

It's the truth, Dan. The rich and the corporate lobbyists have gotten everything they've wanted from this legislature for a long time.
If any of the other candidates had offered an alternative instead of just simply bashing Chafee's plan, they might have gotten elected (oh wait, Block did, but he has social views fit for the late 20th/early 21st century).

Posted by: bella at April 14, 2011 2:48 PM

I wonder why bella bothers?

Posted by: joe bernstein at April 14, 2011 2:48 PM

Ah yes, "the corporations" have gotten everything they've wanted out of the RI General Assembly. That's why they're just lining up to relocate to Rhode Island, right, Bella?

Bella, normally when trying to get to the truth of a matter you don't start with a conclusion. Perhaps you could investigate a bit outside of the progressive anti-rich/anti-business narrative fallacy you've been force-fed.

Posted by: Dan at April 14, 2011 3:43 PM

Using bella's logic, the problem with northern Japan right now is because they all eat so much fish. Look, all those Japanese people up there eat a lot of fish. If they didn't, then they wouldn't have these tsunami and radiation problems. Isn't it obvious?

Posted by: Patrick at April 14, 2011 3:56 PM

Bella's "logic"?LOL.
Bella vomits up whatever the Daily Kos or similar fountain of pus spits out for the day.

Posted by: joe bernstein at April 15, 2011 5:44 PM

When I retire, I hope I can still view the good things in the world with childlike wonder. Or express myself like a 9-year-old, which seems to be the key to Mr. Bernstein's long and happy life.

Posted by: bella at April 15, 2011 6:56 PM

bella-If I were addressing or discussing a functioning adult I'd express myself as one.
In your case,maybe a five year old level is appropriate.
Here you are whining and defending the "governor" and I'll bet the following:
(1)you're not a pulic sector union member
(2)you're not a poverty pimp working for DARE,OSA,or the Poverty Center
(3)you're not receiving assistance
(4)you're not an illegal alien
Those listed above can at least articulate a reason to like Chafee.
You're probably a taxpayer,but you can't see a foot in front of you.
In all seriousness,it's people like you who make those like Charles Manson and Barack Obama successful in their pursuits.
I'm not comparing Obama to Manson EXCEPT that both are snake oil salesmen who depend on mind numbed followers who've surrendered their mental independence.
People like yourself who regurgitate party line nonsense.Who hang on a "leader"like he walks on water.
You won't find me paying attention to what Glenn Beck is blathering about except for those odd times when he really flushes a rattlesnake out.
Or when he defended the two Border Patrolmen.
I generally think pundits and politicians are manipulative scumbags interested mainly in their own egos and the accretion of power and loot.
I have never wanted to be in charge of anything nor am I driven to amass more money than I really need,so there are no messiahs in human form in my world view.
I'm sure you pay taxes.I pay taxes and I use a short form so there's no way to scheme-I'd like accountability for what happens with those taxes -you are seemingly too starstruck with eloi like Chafee and Obama to doubt their good intentions.

The sad thing is that neither of them would piss on you if you were on fire.
I'd at least use the garden hose.

Posted by: joe bernstein at April 17, 2011 1:50 AM

I might have voted for one of the other guys if they had bothered putting a concrete tax plan out there. But neither Robitaille nor Caprio ever did - they offered only reasons why I should NOT vote for Chafee, and never gave me a reason to vote FOR them.
I voted Chafee out of pragmatism - he had a better chance of winning than Blocl. If Chafee didn't run, I'd definitely have voted for Block (would;ve in 06 if he had been on the ballot).

Posted by: bella at April 17, 2011 10:54 AM

"I'd like accountability for what happens with those taxes"

Thank you. And that's in too short supply in this state.

Posted by: Monique at April 17, 2011 11:16 AM

Block is an intelligent man and a productive one too.
I don't necessarily agree with him on everything,but who needs to?
It's not like having this sick,demented rich kid.

Posted by: joe bernstein at April 17, 2011 3:46 PM

This scumbag Chafee has a "concrete"tax plan-if you need concrete work done,they'll tax the concrete AND the labor charge.Really smart to burden homeowners and working people with taxes on essential services.
Take a working person whose car breaks down-now they have to pay tax on the repair labor charge-very smart idea from a "governor"who has dabbled at life-never worried about a single thing.

Posted by: joe bernstein at April 18, 2011 12:58 AM
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