Representative Jack Savage on Education Aid & Tax Increases
At last night’s East Providence GOP event, I had the opportunity to talk with State Representative and House Finance Committee member Jack Savage (R-East Providence) and turn Anchor Rising’s attempt to read the tea leaves with regards to the state budget deficit into a few concrete questions…
Anchor Rising: Some recent comments made by public officials seem to indicate that eliminating the Governor’s proposed 3% increase in education aid is a part of the plan for closing the state budget deficit? Is that the legislature’s plan?
Representative Jack Savage: I would say that, although certainly we want to maintain strength and integrity of our social and educational programs, everything is on the table.
With education, it is very possible that it will be level funded at last year’s level. We may not have the funds to do the 3% increase, which would be approximately 20 million dollars. That’s certainly an area which we are looking at to further reduce our deficit.
AR: No one who’s follows Rhode Island politics believes that tax-increases are ever completely off of the table. Is there any talk at the state house about specific types of tax increases?
JS: I think that’s a general type of conversation. I really don’t think that’s going to happen. Everyone is well aware of the fact that we are already so highly taxed, in all areas.
There may be increases in fees and licensing, those types of increases, but I really don’t think, though I could be wrong, that there will be an increase in sales tax or income tax. At least I’m hoping not. I hope we can find other ways to close the gap.