Telegraphing Higher Taxes?
In view of the RFP (Request for Proposals) that has been on the Rhode Island General Assembly’s website for several months, it appears that a broad based sales tax is not off the table when our solons begin to tackle the half billion dollar annual operating deficit of the seventh highest taxed state in the country.
About halfway down the front page of the General Assembly’s website, the visitor is invited to
CLICK HERE FOR RHODE ISLAND SALES TAX MODEL REQUEST FOR PROPOSALS
Entitled “Sales Tax Model Description”, it is a
Request for Proposals for development of interactive Rhode Island sales and use tax model to be used by the House Fiscal Staff, Senate Fiscal Staff, Division of Taxation and the Office of Revenue Analysis for the detailed economic analysis of the revenue and distributional effects of the sales and use taxes.
And for what, praytell, would the General Assembly need such computer software?
The model covered by the Request will be used primarily to assess the impact of proposed revenue yields from the sales and use tax on various consumer and business purchases and simulate detailed tax law changes and produce revenue estimates for those changes, accounting separately for consumer purchases and business purchases and distinguishing between products and industries.
These taxes could potentially be targeted (not that any more Rhode Island taxpayers need to be targeted) as the RFP specifies, among other things, that the tax software
must be capable of analyzing the incidence of tax proposals on individuals by income group, family size, and income source.
The RFP was to have been awarded in September so that the model could be fully operational by December 1. So even now, it could be spitting out broad based tax proposals, just in time for the opening of the 2008 General Assembly at 4:00 pm today.