Itchin’ for Some Taxin’
If you put your ear to the exterior walls of the State House, you might actually be able to hear the antiquated gears of the General Assembly’s brains whirring a little harder to come up with a strategy for getting away with tax increases:
The plan was broadly outlined by Grafton H. Willey IV, co-chairman of the Rhode Island chapter of the Smaller Business Association of New England, an advocacy group for small businesses, and John C. Simmons, executive director of the Rhode Island Public Expenditure Council, a business-backed group that monitors the state’s finances.
Asked about the plan during a break at Tuesday’s conference, DaPonte said that General Assembly leaders are “absolutely” talking about the possibility of revising the personal income tax.
With a variety of tax credits and other provisions, “Rhode Island [has] a very complicated tax code,” he said. DaPonte said he is concerned not only about the system’s complexity, but also about the personal income tax’s top tax rate of 9.9 percent.
I don’t know that I’ve ever read an article so thoroughly built around hints and insinuations, without any real indication of what “the plan” might look like. Of course, one doesn’t need more than hints and insinuations to be concerned:
If the regular system’s top rate were reduced, a flat tax “may not be necessary,” DaPonte said. Costantino made similar comments last month.
This year the flat tax is 6%. One needn’t be a professional political cynic to suspect that the likes of DaPonte will think that number is “not necessary” if the regular rate were, say, 8.5%.