RI tax battles move toward center stage
Rhode Islanders for Tax Equity, the liberal coalition pushing for tax increases on those who earn more than $250,000 a year, is out with a new video. The theme — complete with footage of former Speaker William Murphy at the rostrum — is that tax breaks for the well-to-to have failed to create jobs.
In a news release, RITE offers this quote from RI AFL-CIO President George Nee:
When the General Assembly passed the alternative flat tax in 2006, they said it was going to help create jobs and stimulate our economy. Six years later, unemployment is 10.9%, third highest in the country. We have the fourth highest property tax rate in the country. Funding for cities and towns has been drastically reduced. Roads and bridges are crumbling. Important services for the elderly, developmentally disabled and homeless residents have been slashed. Hidden taxes like beach fees and college tuition increases are disproportionately hurting lower and middle class Rhode Islanders. And the wealthy just keep getting wealthier, even though they failed to live up to their end of the bargain. This tax policy has been a miserable failure for the vast majority of hard-working Rhode Islanders. It’s time to try something new.
Meanwhile, critics of Governor Lincoln Chafee’s plan to raise the state meal and beverage tax from 8 to 10 percent are set for a Tea Party-style protest, starting at 1 pm today. The critics plan to dump tea into WaterPlace basin and then retrieve it.