Piles of Bills to Increase the Bills
Unsurprisingly, state Representative Charlene Lima (D, Cranston) has become the next legislator through the door with a tax increase bill, and it appears to feature some of the same measures and reasoning as the Economic Death and Dismemberment Act. It’s as if they intend to flood the legislature with slightly variegated bills so that one of them will slip through as if it represents a compromise.
Her press release, though, does lead me to an interesting question:
“The governor’s ‘no raise in tax’ declaration, while great political rhetoric, is totally disingenuous,” continued Representative Lima. “By cutting state funding to our cities and towns in such an unanticipated manner, he is forcing the municipalities to raise property taxes- the most regressive and financially destructive form of taxation for the working men and women of our state. In fact, the governor is actually raising the property taxes of citizens in all our 39 cities and towns while claiming not to be raising state taxes.”
“The governor knows full well that by proposing such a surprise reduction in state aid in this fiscal year, he is virtually forcing the cities and towns to raise property taxes while at the same time being able to gain politically by his ‘no state tax raise’ proclamation,” she said. “By cutting state aid so suddenly and unreasonably the governor is really raising the property tax of every Rhode Islander-the Carcieri statewide property tax raise!”
Are any municipalities not raising property taxes by at least the maximum allowed? (That’s not a non sequitur, because increases related to municipal bonds are exempt from the cap.) If not, then it would seem to be Ms. Lima et al. who are being disingenuous.
And not to nitpick, but according to Lima’s fellow travelers, the sales tax is the “most regressive.” Of course, the sales tax is among the tools of the state, rather than town, government.