How about NO sales tax in Rhode Island?
The Rhode Island Center for Freedom & Prosperity plans to release a proposal next month to eliminate Rhode Island’s sales tax, according to CEO Mike Stenhouse.
Speaking during a Tea Party-style protest this afternoon at WaterPlace Park, Stenhouse said a New Hampshire-style model would energize Rhode Island’s economy.
“Next month we’ll be releasing a report that proposes to eliminate the sales tax — zero-point-zero,” Stenhouse said to cheers from a throng of about 75 people galvanzied by the Rhode Island Hospitality Association. “How much would this benefit your business? It’s time to reverse course and reduce taxes.”
Eliminating the sales tax would seem to be a non-starter at the General Assembly, considering Rhode Island’s perennial budget deficits. But the proposal could help to focus a debate on tax policy.
During the Tea Party event, restaurateur John Elkhay (shown above) and other critics sharply criticized Governor Lincoln Chafee’s proposal to raise the state meal and beverage tax from 8 percent to 10 percent. They said it will hurt their businesses and the state’s economy as a whole.
Chafee has said he hopes growing state revenues will make it possible to cut or eliminate the two percentage point increase in the meal and beverage tax.