Nothing to See Here, Locally and Globally

Well, we got beat at the Tiverton financial town meeting. Liveblog here, and post-game here. Tiverton’s tax levy will now go up a minimum of 7.88% in the middle of the worst economy in a century, with house values plummeting, businesses closing, and for sale signs loitering for months on end on front lawns around town. Too many people stand to gain by taxing others for the upward climb of taxes to take a break for such things as unemployment and the expansion of the working poor.
But I’m going to get out of my now-more-expensive basement office and go spend some family time in the fresh air. In the meantime, I leave you with a laugh-out-loud good line from Mark Steyn:

At Ford Hood, Major Hasan jumped on a table and gunned down his comrades while screaming “Allahu Akbar!” — which is Arabic for “Nothing to see here” and an early indicator of pre-post-traumatic stress disorder.

If you’re merely in the mood for levity, don’t click the link and read beyond that sentence. Suffice to say that I associate the growing government in Tiverton, Rhode Island, and the United States with the weakness of the West that Steyn sees on a global scale.

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Community
Community
11 years ago

Sanity prevails.
Turns out that even if you have a reasonable point to make, if you are mean-spirited, selfish, not very competent, and willing to punish other people’s children so you can save a couple hundred dollars you can easily afford, you just won’t be able to get most people to follow you.

Stuart
Stuart
11 years ago

Don’t worry, things are getting better…….sooner than later in terms of the economy.
I don’t think Tiverton’s citizens will be chased out by the relatively few dollars extra they may spend. At the same time, I am certain that at least some of the lesson going forward has been learned. Hopefully our local governments will attempt not to buy into the boom and bust cycles and simply be as frugal as they can.

J.D Paull
J.D Paull
11 years ago

I have been saying just that all along! Do I like the taxes going up? No. But do I appreciate a group of people (TCC) trying to bully their way to keep their taxes down for the good of only themselves? No! Enjoy your tax HIKES TCC. If you were only smart enough to play nice and not try to BS the taxpayers of the Town of Tiverton with your 22% crap, maybe you would have gotten your way.

John
John
11 years ago

The results of today’s meeting are yet another piece of evidence that beneficiaries of RI’s punitive, anger and resentment driven, redistributionist state political culture are now so firmly control the levers of power that there is no hope for change absent a very deep and very painful financial crisis. That holders of RI municipal debt are the next group to get screwed seems a foregone conclusion, as does the prediction that taking this step will worsen rather than improve the situation.
Of course, that sets the stage for the long awaited steel cage end game match between the public sector union camp and the progressive welfare camp. If California is any guide, the early advantage appears to be with the former. But perhaps not in RI. Time will tell, and it will be fun to watch.
People who create the pie that others seek to tax and redistribute — call them wealth producers — are an increasingly threatened and shrinking minority in the Ocean State. The only interesting questions are why some of them still stay, and how many more will leave over the next year.

Monique
Editor
11 years ago

Community and JD Paull: bull. Rhode Island has some of the highest property taxes in the country with student achievement on the other end of the scale. Only gross mismanagement and pure greed could explain a 7.8% tax increase in any municipality, especially in this economy.
You have the tax gun and can stick people up at will. Enjoy it while it lasts. The hardcore fiscal realities which you and your cohorts steadfastly deny dictate that it will not last for long. A gun won’t help if the victim’s pockets are empty or he has fled.

Monique
Editor
11 years ago

I would like to thank John for his calm, rational comments and associate myself fully with them.

Bob W
Bob W
11 years ago

Rhode Island’s economy may be the worst since the 1950s, but the states to our north and west are recovering nicely.
25 years ago, Massachusetts’ schools were about where RI’s are now. Leaders like Weld, Roosevelt and Birmingham started k-12 reform in 1991, and now MA schools rank in the top in the world.
What we have here is a problem state, not a problem country.
Until our schools are led by people who can teach and inspire our kids, with great parental support, we’ll continue our decline.
Bob in Portsmouth

Bob W
Bob W
11 years ago

Rhode Island’s economy may be the worst since the 1950s, but the states to our north and west are recovering nicely.
25 years ago, Massachusetts’ schools were about where RI’s are now. Leaders like Weld, Roosevelt and Birmingham started k-12 reform in 1991, and now MA schools rank in the top in the world.
What we have here is a problem state, not a problem country.
Until our schools are led by people who can teach and inspire our kids, with great parental support, we’ll continue our decline.
Bill Weld came out of nowhere in 1990, beating former Boston University president John Silber.
John Robitaille could be the Bill Weld of Rhode Island. Let’s help him to the governor’s seat this year.

Andrew Mcnulty
Andrew Mcnulty
11 years ago

Right-On, Monique! … and I agree with Bob W. – John Robitaille is the most competent gubernatorial candidate we have had in a long time! No offense, Gov. Carcieri, but John has something that has been missing around here.

Andrew McNulty
Andrew McNulty
11 years ago

BTW, Justin –
You fought the good fight …. Do not be discouraged … those that fought against you will soon realize that you were fighting for them, too! There are more people behind you than in front of you … Keep up the good work!

Ken
Ken
11 years ago

Justin,
The City and County of Honolulu, HI raised property taxes about 7.47% so I would say the Town of Tiverton, RI 7.88% tax increase is in line with other city and town property tax increases this year.
One major difference between Honolulu and Tiverton is the State of Hawaii totally funds the single school department and district and not the cities and counties. The State of Hawaii so far is holding the line on any income tax or sales tax increases.
However the City and County of Honolulu also created a new owner occupied property tax class to help relieve the tax burden on those of us who live in our Honolulu properties verses those who purchase property for investment and rental income thereby collecting additional income on their properties as a business.
New 2010/11 tax rate is $3.42 per$1,000 at 100% assessed value.
The new owner occupied exemption starts with a $80,000 exemption and increases $40,000 every 5 years starting at age 65 and thereafter maxing out at $200,000 exemption along with age exemption drops me down to City and County minimum acceptable property tax rate of $100 a year property tax down from over $240 a year.
Keep up the fight in Tiverton and maybe someday taxes will be like they are in paradise.

Patrick
Patrick
11 years ago

For those who think “a few extra bucks” in taxes is no big deal, can you please explain to me why RI property taxes are so much higher than MA? Look at the border towns and they’re often close to 100% higher in RI. Why? Why is Seekonk/Rehoboth/Swansea almost half of what East Providence is? Is the quality of living in EP twice as good as those towns? Does EP have twice as good of schools, roads, police and fire? I don’t think so. So what’s the difference? Where’s the value?
Same in other directions. Blackstone/Wrentham are almost half of what Cumberland/Woonsocket pay. Why? Is the quality of life that much better in those RI towns? I don’t think so.
So if you can explain to me why, that RI taxes should be that much higher than MA, and why why should go up “just a couple bucks”, then you’ll be the first. I’ve even asked elected politicians in this state and no one can answer that for me.
Anyone? Anyone?

Dan
Dan
11 years ago

Oh, the humanity!

Ken
Ken
11 years ago

Patrick, Here is somewhat of the answer you are looking for. State of Rhode Island is about 1,545 sq miles in land mass size 37 miles wide by 48 miles long with about 1,048,319 in population abutting states of Massachusetts and Connecticut with an ocean front. Within the Rhode Island boarders there is one central state government with governor, general assembly, Judicial, state-wide education department and state police, emergency management agency, National Guard, state-wide tourist bureau plus 39 incorporated cities and towns (across five counties each county with its own tourist bureau) each with their individual local governments, police, fire, Medical EMT, and Emergency Management Agency departments. 37 school districts each with own superintendent, school administration support and school committees and free school bussing. State of Hawaii is about 6, 423 sq miles in land mass size comprised of over 130 islands stretching close to 1,600 mile long with about 1,211,537 in population. It is the most isolated state in the nation and population center on the face of the earth. Hawaii is 2,390 miles from California; 3,850 miles from Japan; 4,900 miles from China; and 5,280 miles from the Philippines. Within the Hawaii boarders there is one central state government with governor, general assembly, Judicial, emergency management and civil defense agency, National Guard, one state-wide school district under one education department, school superintendent with no free school bussing, 1 state-wide tourist bureau plus 4 county seats of government with 4 mayors, 4 city councils, 4 police, 4 fire, 4 Medical EMT, 4 Emergency Management Agencies and 4 county tourist bureaus. The largest island the Big Island of Hawaii (4,038 sq miles in size) has a totally free island-wide public transit bus system. Compare the amount of government required to run each state and you will see why my property… Read more »

Stuart
Stuart
11 years ago

My brothers house in MA. and mine in RI are taxed at and valued at approx. the same exact amount.
Twice as high? No, I don’t think so!
But, hey, it sounds good.

Patrick
Patrick
11 years ago

Hey Stuart, I figured I’d have to point out facts for you. I figured you’d cherrypick two datapoints and try to kill the whole argument based on that. FAIL.
Let’s look at facts now:
Using the numbers here, on the state’s department of revenue web site:
https://dlsgateway.dor.state.ma.us/gateway/Public/WebForms/TaxRate/ReportTRApprovalPublic.aspx
And here at Riliving.com for RI’s:
http://www.riliving.com/aboutrhodeisland/taxrates/index.aspx
East Providence: 15.43
Seekonk: 9.64
Rehoboth: 8.90
Woonsocket: 22.36
Wrentham: 12.22
Blackstone: 12.52
Pawtucket: 17.78
Attleboro: 10.09
N. Attleboro: 9.82
Tiverton: 14.35
Fall River: 8.06
Westport: 5.54
Those are all bordering towns. Why the difference? Rather than spewing your normal nonsense, I’ve provided you with facts and sources. Now explain it? I’m guessing you can’t. Either admit you’re an idiot on this topic and gave a very disingenuous response, or give me a reason why MA is so much cheaper than a bordering town in RI.
And Ken, I never asked about Hawaii. I want to know why MA is so much lower than RI, especially the towns on the borders.

Ken
Ken
11 years ago

Patrick,
I was using Hawaii government state and local as a comparison to Rhode Island government state and local.
One is top heavy and over burden with management and the other is streamline and doing more with less to keep operating costs down and as a state is a lot larger than RI and is hindered by not having an uninterrupted land mass as RI has.
With than said I don’t know if you realize that Massachusetts for some years now has been streaming state and local government. Mass has been combining counties, towns and cities into unified consolidated city-county as a matter of fact eight of Massachusetts’ 14 county governments have been abolished.
Mass has pretty much streamlined its county governments and cities and towns have been combining in regionalization and consolidation of towns and cities making Mass government smaller leaner and saving operating tax dollars.
If you check the web pages of the cities and towns that are on the MA/RI boarder you will see that most all of them have some type of consolidation or regionalization study or effort on going.
The other major indicator is most of the communities on the MA/RI boarder are farming or agricultural MA lands which are taxed differently than RI City/town property.

Patrick
Patrick
11 years ago

Ken, you’re proving my point with your “streamlining” comments. MA has a more efficient gov’t than RI. And why is that?
As for the “farmland”, I’m not so sure of that. I don’t remember seeing many farms in Attleboro, Seekonk, Wrentham, or Fall River. What I do remember seeing is lots and lots of retail stores in those towns.

Phil
Phil
11 years ago

I would like to thank John for his calm, rational comments and associate myself fully with them.
Posted by Monique at May 15, 2010 5:42 PM
Right-On, Monique! … and I agree with Bob W. – John Robitaille is the most competent gubernatorial candidate we have had in a long time! No offense, Gov. Carcieri, but John has something that has been missing around here.
Posted by Andrew Mcnulty at May 15, 2010 6:36 PM
To commentor John.
Do you think that any serious office seeker should write comments to a blog such as this one using an alias?

Kevin
Kevin
11 years ago

Congrats to all of the red shirt union members for showing up at the FTM along with your friends and family. It worked! You won. The rest of Tiverton loses in the long run. The system sucks! It’s corrupt! It stinks to high heaven. I’m ashamed to be raising my kids in this town!

Common Sense
Common Sense
11 years ago

Kevin, what’s holding you back, move out if you don’t like it!
Patrick, there is no mystery to why RI property taxes are higher. A cursory review of the states approach to taxation will give you the answer. MA income taxes are higher, which in turn allows the state to fund municipalities and local education at a higher level than RI. RI has opted not to follow that model which then puts the burden of paying for these costs on regressive property taxes.

michael
michael
11 years ago

“Patrick, there is no mystery to why RI property taxes are higher. A cursory review of the states approach to taxation will give you the answer. MA income taxes are higher, which in turn allows the state to fund municipalities and local education at a higher level than RI. RI has opted not to follow that model which then puts the burden of paying for these costs on regressive property taxes.”
If this is true, as I suspect it is, and similar circumstances exist in New Hampshire and North Carolina, two states often referred to here and elsewhere as business and tax heaven (just don’t tell that to the long term under or unemployed long term residents of those states) then this argument is just about done.

Dan
Dan
11 years ago

“New Hampshire and North Carolina, two states often referred to here and elsewhere as business and tax heaven (just don’t tell that to the long term under or unemployed long term residents of those states)”
New Hampshire has consistently had one of the lowest unemployment rates in the country, michael. Not coincidence.
“Kevin, what’s holding you back, move out if you don’t like it!”
A good argument in defense of domestic abusers. The logical fallacy: if something is not the determining factor, then it must be a non-factor.

michael
michael
11 years ago

I’m kind of a grass roots guy. I have friends who live in New Hampshire and have been struggling to make ends meet for decades. There simply are no well paid jobs for “the natives.” People who move there and take their livelihood or pension or fortune with them fare much better.
At least that is what my friend who lives there tells me.

Dan
Dan
11 years ago

Ah, the power of the personal anecdote. Michael, the New Hampshire government is lean, effective, and conducive toward small business growth. Your gripe with it is that it has no place for thousands of people who make a living sucking the government teat in redundant laborer/clerk/sergeant/inspector/driver/magistrate/assistant manager public positions. But that is precisely why it is so successful overall. Productive people who deal with others on a voluntary basis can stay, non-productive people who rely on the coercive power of government to forcibly extract a salary from others can either become productive or move to RI or MA, unionize, and start making campaign contributions.

michael
michael
11 years ago

Actually, Dan, one friend owns and operates a Motor Inn and does some sheetrock work on the side. Another cleans houses for people who relocated there.
A lot of people who live, and have lived in New Hampshire will find your assessment of the state of their state delusional. But I don’t live there, or know many people who do. I’m just going with what I’m told by people who do.
And this may surprise you, union members, public sector included actually live and prosper among and equal to the rest of “productive” society, working hard, struggling to get by, just like regular folk.

Patrick
Patrick
11 years ago

Common Sense wrote:
“MA income taxes are higher,”
No, that’s wrong. MA is 5.9% RI is 7.7%. So let’s keep trying.
And where’d Stuart go? Funny how he goes quiet when he’s proven wrong. I’ll still demand an explanation or an admission of his wrong statements the next time he comes out from under his rock.

Dan
Dan
11 years ago

“And this may surprise you, union members, public sector included actually live and prosper among and equal to the rest of “productive” society, working hard, struggling to get by, just like regular folk.” This is illustrative of the difference between us, michael. You see value in working hard. I see value in creating actual wealth. One can work hard all day in a sisyphean job transporting homeless people to the hospital so they can get free food and lodging for the night. But the bottom line is that nobody except the homeless, politicians, public unions, and idiot progressives want that job done, which is why they are unwilling to voluntarily pay for it. If something is worth doing, people will be willing to pay you to do it voluntarily. You’re wrong about one thing – I feel the public unions’ pain. The Boston firefighters union only got a 19% raise this year in exchange for drug testing – they were asking for 22%. That must have been a huge disappointment for them. The MA Turnpike $100k toll collectors and MBTA inspectors have been getting the shaft for a while now, do you know how difficult their jobs are? The MA police unions had a particularly rough year this time around. Their salaries were significantly lower than previous years: Spillane, Matthew J Police Dept. Lieutenant – $271,883 Kervin, Timothy M. Police Dept. Lieutenant – $265,472 Russell, Paul J. Police Dept. Captain – $247,921 Claiborne, James M Police Dept. Captain – $247,827 Ciccolo, Steven M Police Dept. Lieutenant – $247,735 O’Rourke, Bernard P Police Dept. Captain – $245,269 Ryans, Pervis Police Dept. Captain – $242,420 Stratton, Michael J Police Dept. Sergeant – $240,880 I’m sure they will have many nights tossing and turning, wondering how they are going to pay the bills… Read more »

michael
michael
11 years ago

I should have been a cop.
And how do you intend to create wealth without working hard? Or at least hiring people willing to work hard?
I guess that is the real difference between us, Dan. I’m not afraid to work.

Dan
Dan
11 years ago

“And how do you intend to create wealth without working hard? Or at least hiring people willing to work hard?”
Creation of wealth is only loosely correlated with hard work. There is a lot of hard work that creates little wealth, creates no wealth, or actually destroys it. Some of the most difficult legal work I have done, both in terms of intellectual requirements and man-hours, has been the most fruitless and useless from a societal standpoint, while some of the easiest work I have done has been the most wealth-producing.
“I guess that is the real difference between us, Dan. I’m not afraid to work.”
I’ve worked hard my whole life. Construction, tutoring/teaching, engineering, and law. I just don’t believe in rewarding somebody for digging a hole and filling it back up again every day, and I would certainly never take a job like that myself. Unfortunately that is the precisely the sort of work for which public unions are most suited.

Phil
Phil
11 years ago

Katz
“Allahu Akbar” means God is great or God is the greatest.
John?

Dan
Dan
11 years ago

“I should have been a cop.”
You couldn’t have been if you wanted to be. The line goes around the block 5 times in Boston for those public union jobs because they are as good as winning the lottery (same amount of money involved). They are usually doled out as political favors or kept within certain families. I’m not aware of any other jobs that pay $250k for sipping Dunkin Donuts and watching construction crews fix the road all day.

michael
michael
11 years ago

“I just don’t believe in rewarding somebody for digging a hole and filling it back up again every day, and I would certainly never take a job like that myself. Unfortunately that is the precisely the sort of work for which public unions are most suited.”
Your use of broad, generalized descriptions of public unions is far below something I would expect from somebody with a law degree. I may be mistaken but I thought you had to be educated to practice law.
There are loungeabouts and crooks in all professions, law being tops on a lot of people’s lists for crooked, criminal proceedings.

Dan
Dan
11 years ago

“Your use of broad, generalized descriptions of public unions is far below something I would expect from somebody with a law degree. I may be mistaken but I thought you had to be educated to practice law.” Of course I am being broad. I am speaking about the very NATURE of public unionization itself in economic terms. Legally and economically, public unions are exclusive government-granted monopolies over certain public services. Collective bargaining, when applied to public service, will always lead to waste, corruption, self-perpetuation, and over-inclusion because of the government’s taxation power to raise revenue arbitrarily, rather than through voluntary transactions as private businesses do. The fact that politicians appoint or hire (directly or indirectly) many public union members, combined with the inherent political and revenue generation power of public unions with regard to campaigns, creates the perfect storm. Many of the inherent controls on private unions, such as the symbiosis of union and management in a single organization and the threat of bankruptcy, are removed from the equation when unions are public because government will never allow itself to go bankrupt and it is no longer the management’s money that is being spent. Public unionization allows union members to reap all the benefits of collective bargaining through enforcement of contract, while receiving none of the downsides of collectivization when any one union member breaches, which is particularly invidious when it involves disability fraud and pension abuse, largely a public union phenomenon. I understand the subject matter just fine, Michael, and my law and economics degrees haven’t changed my view of public unions one bit. They have reaffirmed it many times over. “There are loungeabouts and crooks in all professions, law being tops on a lot of people’s lists for crooked, criminal proceedings.” This is a low-brow slanderous myth not… Read more »

Dan
Dan
11 years ago

How come sometimes it requires approval and sometimes it lets you post directly?

joe bernstein
joe bernstein
11 years ago

Michael-Truth in Packaging:”Criminal Lawyer”

Ken
Ken
11 years ago

Patrick,
Before the housing explosion in the 1980s I remember there was plenty of open agricultural land on the MA/RI boarder in Attleboro, Seekonk, Wrentham, Franklin, Bellingham and Fall River. Then all of a sudden the land started filling in with house developments some with three and four garages built into the houses and condominium complexes.
I believe the last big consolidation of a city-county was 1998 in Mass.
The state of Mass abolished all county governments and the state assumed the duties of the counties in the late 1990s to early 2000. That reduced government spending by one government layer as there are no county council or commissioner now in Mass.
As for property taxes a family member moved from Mass to the back woods of NH almost on the Canada boarder and is paying far more property taxes in NH (no state income tax you got to make up the money from somewhere else) than what he was paying in MA.
Another thing keeping the property taxes down in Massachusetts is voters approved Proposition 2 ½ in 1980 through a ballot initiative. Local voters may override the 2.5 percent cap in special cases. Proposition 2 ½ also mandated that property-tax revenue not exceed 2.5 percent of the assessed value of a town.
So you have a combination of Mass state government and local government streamlining government services and purchase agreements along with Proposition 2 ½. I am not quite sure how Mass rezones agricultural land in towns for housing developments especially those with no city or town supplied sewer or water hookups (drill water-wells and cesspools).

Stuart
Stuart
11 years ago

Where did Stuart go? Sailing, sailing over the bay so blue…… Well, folks, now we are supposed to compare our towns in East Bay with FALL RIVER. Gag me with a spoon….please……. Here are the facts. A house accessed at 400K in Portsmouth pays about 5,000 a year, more or less in taxes. A house in Central or Western Ma – where my brother is – which is accessed at 400K pay about the same. Example- Easthampton, Ma – about $12 per thousand….very typical for much of central and western ma. Lots of town services, good schools. etc. Portsmouth, RI tax rate is about 11, isn’t it? Either way, I fail to see the DOUBLE except in the arbitrary BS provided. I guess that is sorta like that 22% increase in Tiverton taxes…a good number to throw around. Listen carefully, Fall River is calling you. Well priced real estate and lower income taxes combined with universal health care and more state social services! C’mon down…. Seriously, folks…….let’s be real. A really nice house for 400K in Portsmouth RI is about $5K in taxes. I don’t think you are gonna find one with the same value and location type in Ma and pay $2500 in taxes….and if you do, it is an anomaly. Last time I heard, Fall River and Westport were not world class locations. The funny thing about some of the clowns here is they seem to have a hard time understanding that you get what you pay for! If you want the beauty of an island or really easy access to water and other things, you are gonna pay more…. Isn’t that what the John Galt thing is all about…? If we are mini-Galts we can afford the nicer things in life, and you wage slaves can move… Read more »

Dan
Dan
11 years ago

Meh, I had a post typed out but the “approval required” blog glitch ate it and I’m too lazy to retype. Maybe it will reappear later. The lawyer comment wasn’t worth responding to anyway.

Patrick
Patrick
11 years ago

“Either way, I fail to see the DOUBLE except in the arbitrary BS provided.”
You fail to see the near double except in all the data I provided. You sound like Homer Simpson when he said that you prove anything is remotely true with facts. Again, you’re cherrypicking two datapoints and trying to generalize from there. I used all the border towns.
As for Fall River, is that really in any better shape than CF, Woonsocket or Pawtucket? And yet, Fall River’s tax rate is much, much lower. Why is that? The reason I’m given that those RI cities are so high is because of the prevalence of low-value tenements. So if that’s the case and that Fall River has similar type properties, then why is their tax rate so low?
Why are you comparing a house in Portsmouth, RI with western/central MA? That’s about as disingenuous as it gets. Two completely different standards of living. Otherwise, I’ll compare Portsmouth RI with some towns in Iowa or Oklahoma. That’s just ridiculous. I chose towns that border each other because they have the same standard of living. That’s a valid argument, which you called BS.
It’s funny how much you scamper away from the argument like a cockroach when proven wrong. I’m still looking for an explanation to the differences in the prices that I showed in the “arbitrary BS”. Can’t explain it, can you? Of course not, it’d go against everything you stand for.
I really wish Justin could somehow change the comments section so I could just put certain people on “ignore”. As it is, when I see your name, that’s what I usually do anyway and what I should do in the future as well.

Stuart
Stuart
11 years ago

Patrick, you are a funny guy!
You compare Fall River with Tiverton and then tell ME that I am not comparing like with like.
Oh, well, I guess you convinced yourself. But you are not fooling many others, because it’s quite simple – if taxes were that much lower for an equivalent lifestyle and community, then this state would quickly empty out. But it doesn’t. And it won’t. End of story….
Sorry, Bro, but it is thee that is trying to explain away thine own BS. Comparing the dregs of Ma. post-industrial to a nice farming, waterfront and semi-rural community (Tiverton or Portsmouth) is just not valid.
But, Heck, you don’t care…..it sounds good.

Justin Katz
11 years ago

Patrick:
Sometimes, you just have to resign yourself to the reality that readers who refuse to see will refuse to see, and some commentators will continue to play to them.

Ken
Ken
11 years ago

Stuart, You said; “Seriously, folks…….let’s be real. A really nice house for 400K in Portsmouth RI is about $5K in taxes. I don’t think you are gonna find one with the same value and location type in Ma and pay $2500 in taxes….and if you do, it is an anomaly. Last time I heard, Fall River and Westport were not world class locations.” Since when did town of Portsmouth, RI obtain a “World Class” rating because I have not seen it listed on any world ranking I’ve looked at and $5K or $2,500 a year is too much to pay for property taxes! I can beat your $400,000.00 house in Portsmouth, RI with a newly constructed 3 bdrm, 2 bath, 2 car garage, fenced landscaped yard in Honolulu, HI in a new development called Makalae at Sea Country or a 3-4 bdrm, 2.5-3 bath, 2 car garage, fenced landscape yard in Ke Ola O Pokai Bay with community center, private swimming pool, public bus transit service and walking distance to large natural beach with free bathhouse, free showers, free picnic tables, free BBQs, free lifeguards, free beach parking and free trash pick-up all with fantastic sunset views. Located 30 min from internationally ranked 2nd cleanest city in the world Honolulu downtown and Waikiki Beach which never sleeps 24/7 with all the amenities and entertainment of New York City and ranked best city in world to raise a family. Taxes would be $400,000 – $80,000 owner occupied exemption = $320,000 X $3.42/$1,000= $1,094.40 in property tax plus there is no property tax on cars, boats or motorcycles (if you purchase a all electric car state and federal rebate is $12,500.00; $10 electric charge can get up to 300 miles depending on model), sales tax is 4.5% no winter, fall, spring heating… Read more »

Dan
Dan
11 years ago

I just ignore Stuart manually. I don’t read his comments anymore at all. He has literally nothing to offer.

Stuart
Stuart
11 years ago

Portsmouth as world class?
Well, for starters it is a tiny town which every sailor in the world knows about……it is home to many famous brands of boats as well as sail makers, etc.
Home of the US Sailing Association…don’t they give sailboats a “Portsmouth Rating”? That is world class, my friends!
It has world class scenery (and so does tiverton, BTW)…I’ve been enough places to see that. Stop and smell the roses!
Beaches, boating, potatoes (world class, BTW), a vineyard, a modern wind turbine, good schools, people who enjoy living there and would not move anywhere else…..that is world class.
If we want to go just a little further and classify the island and Newport County, this area was named one of the top places to visit in the country (and I think world) by a leading travel pub. Heck, Larry Ellison (winner of the world cup) and one of the worlds richest man, just bought property here – so did a number of other people who cold afford to live ANYWHERE in the world.
And so, Patrick and Justin, Et. al, you compare this with Fall River? You are just too silly!
What you need to do is leave moms basement and find out where you actually live. I’m amazed at the number of people who live here who don’t know what is around the corner!

Common Sense
Common Sense
11 years ago

Patrick, If you think MA and RI have gone to the flat income tax and there are not other factors are involved, you don’t warrant any further discussion. I stand by my statement.

Patrick
Patrick
11 years ago

Ha ha ha ha!
“I’m smarter than you, even though you refuted my point, so I’m taking my ball and going home. So there!”
Yeah, good one Common Sense. You’re the one who said the income tax rate in MA was higher than RI. Of course there are other things likes exemptions and writeoffs, but the fact remains, the rate in RI is higher than in MA.
Oh and so is the gas tax and the sales tax and the inventory tax and the property tax and the …

Stuart
Stuart
11 years ago

As Common Sense is attempting to point out, common sense shows that the “average” or “median” taxpayer in RI ends up paying about 5% to 6% in RI state tax, about exactly what they pay in Ma.
In Ma, you have to pay personal property tax on your car and other things. On a new car, this can exceed $1000 a year.
In Ma, you have to pay sales tax on your boat.
For most folks anywhere in the normal income ranges, these things end up being similar…when all is said and done. Simply speaking, the idea of total taxation in RI as being way out of line with other states in the Northeast simply is not true.
The only truism that you can state in this matter is that Rhode Islanders are not making as much money per capita as many of their neighbors, so that the tax burden in percentage (not dollars!) ends up about 1% higher when compared with many.
You can save 2% or more by moving to Alaska (oil pays all the tax), Delaware (corporations pay it) or even New Hampshire (they get a lot of tax money from tourists, wealthy folks, folks crossing the border for no sales taxes, etc.).
However, none of these are really sustainable models.
So, let’s summarize. Taxes are average for a developed East Coast state, but maybe 1% higher than some due to less income by many workers here.
Funny how Patrick can make that sound like double. But I guess accuracy and honest are not too evident on the “right” side of Hope in RI.

michael
michael
11 years ago

Dan, deny it all you want, but if a poll were taken today, right now asking who is more trustworthy, firefighters or lawyers, guess who would win?
They could even do the poll on Anchor Rising and firefighters would still probably win.
Pretty thin skin for a guy not shy about throwing slanderous accusations around.

Michelle Malkin
10 years ago

Thanks a lot great article. It’s not stuff like this and written I was doing, and material.

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