Coming to a State Near You?

Could be that New York Governor David Paterson is offering a taste of things to come in Rhode Island:

Gov. Paterson’s proposed $121 billion budget hits New Yorkers in their iPods – and nickels-and-dimes them in lots of other places, too.
Trying to close a $15.4 billion budget gap, Paterson called for 88 new fees and a host of other taxes, including an “iPod tax” that taxes the sale of downloaded music and other “digitally delivered entertainment services.”

Two significant differences are that New York is a much bigger state than Rhode Island, making it more difficult for residents to skip state lines to make purchases and receive services, and that New York does not have the nation’s highest unemployment, meaning that there’s less incentive to stay in Rhode Island.
As a state, we can’t afford mere attempts to weather this storm. We have to turn things around completely, and that’s not going to happen unless the government pulls back. If, instead, Rhode Island officials attempt to get their hands into more pockets (or more deeply into the same pockets), they’ll only exacerbate the problem.

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chuckR
chuckR
12 years ago

NY seems to have assumed that layering on taxes won’t change people’s buying decisions. On large ticket optional purchases – boats, planes, cars – it has been shown that it will. The late unlamented Federal luxury tax damaged the RI boat-building industry badly. Because its only one state rather than the whole country, it won’t hurt as bad this time around.
I looked at a Sail magazine in a doctor’s office yesterday. A two year old 34 foot Tartan was offered at tax trigger point of $200K. While a Tartan34 is a very nice boat indeed, I don’t think of it as a plutocrat’s yacht.
On the plus side, chasing down all the potential tax scofflaws will certainly require new hires in the NYS tax enforcement division…. /sarc

rhody
rhody
12 years ago

I no longer feel guilty about laughing at the number SNL did on him last week.

Tom W
Tom W
12 years ago

>>As a state, we can’t afford mere attempts to weather this storm. We have to turn things around completely, and that’s not going to happen unless the government pulls back. If, instead, Rhode Island officials attempt to get their hands into more pockets (or more deeply into the same pockets), they’ll only exacerbate the problem. You get it. I get it. The folks in the General Assembly are willfully blind to it and/or compromised by their fealty to the special interests. The doubled the “911” fee to raise some cash to get them through “this budget year.” They serially raise the sales tax rate to raise some cash to get them through “this budget year.” The sold the tobacco money at a discount – essentially a giant payday loan – in order to raise some cash for a few budget years. Simultaneously they’ve racked up billions of dollars in unfunded pension liabilities, and diverted maintenance money into the general fund so that now bridges are literally collapsing, and our roads are almost universally cratered. And yet recently (I believe that it was Finance Committee Chair Costantino) was quoted in the paper as blaming the current budget issues on the national downturn, saying that Rhode Island’s current problems aren’t “systemic.” So as we’re beginning the worst national recession in decades, thanks to the General Assembly Rhode Island is ENTERING this recession with sub-average schools, collapsing infrastructure, billions in unfunded pension liabilities, tied for highest unemployment rate in the country, and a national reputation both for hostility to employers and political corruption. While Rhode Island is among the worst of the worst, our problems are reflective of the whole Rustbelt mindset of states with long-term Democrat / public sector union – private sector union control. From Michigan / Detroit through Ohio through… Read more »

Greg
Greg
12 years ago

Yet another reason I’m glad I don’t pay to download my music.

Mike
Mike
12 years ago

Look for the progressives Economic Growth And Fairness Act of 2009:
Raise taxes on da rich. Raise cigarette, alcohol and gasoline taxes to “number 1” in America. Raise the sales tax to 8% and broaden it to include everything but your underwear.
BUT, the progressives will (LOL) “promise” to lower it in 2 years and they will throw you a fifty buck check for “property tax relief”-while your property taxes go up $300.
Buy EVERYTHING taxable online or cross-border.
SCREWRI-and the crooks who run it.
PS-Don’t forget the sales tax in Osama’s progressive-run Shitcago is 10.25%.

joe bernstein
joe bernstein
12 years ago

Greg-MY MAN-WTF is an IPOD anyhow?

chuckR
chuckR
12 years ago

Joe, you old mossback, its one of those rental storage containers, although I can’t figure out why they’re called portable….

John
John
12 years ago

Great post, TomW. Sums it up perfectly — and unlike Pat Crowley and Kate Brewster, actually uses comparative data to logically support conclusions.
Sadly, the majority of Rhode Islanders are incredibly insular and provincial, and have no idea of how badly the state is viewed by business leaders who don’t live here.

Monique
Editor
12 years ago

“On the plus side, chasing down all the potential tax scofflaws will certainly require new hires in the NYS tax enforcement division…. /sarc”
Say, now that’s a silver lining I hadn’t thought of …
Gov Paterson

Tom W
Tom W
12 years ago

Thanks for the kind words, John.
>>Sadly, the majority of Rhode Islanders are incredibly insular and provincial, and have no idea of how badly the state is viewed by business leaders who don’t live here.
True. And even then I’m not sure how many would care.
It seems like in this state we’re in a sort of collective abused family dynamic. We keep being grossly abused by the Democrat General Assembly, but we love them because it’s all we’ve ever known, we think that they love us (because they tell us so) and so to us this state of affairs is normal.
That seems why most people who are trying to reform RI are either transplants from elsewhere or natives who’ve spend time elsewhere.

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