Bills Introduced to the Rhode Island House (Taxation Focus), January 25 – February 3)

Significant Rewrites with Statewide Impact

H5115I think this is the repeal of the “Amazon” tax. (Comment: Even though this bill contains a relatively small amount of verbiage, I’m putting it in the “significant rewrites” section, since it’s meaning needs some decrypting)

Targeted Changes with Statewide Impact

H5114From the official description: “This act would clarify that a little cigar is not a cigarette for purposes of taxation…”
H5116Authorizes an instant lottery game called “Scratch-a-Tick” (Comment: Stay classy, Rhode Island.)
H5117Raises the estate tax threshold to $1.5 million from $850 thousand beginning in 2013, and then indexes it to inflation. Companion to S0058.
H5139Removes the ability of city and town councils to exempt or stabilize “real and tangible property taxes in enterprise zones for qualified businesses”
H5153Reduces the minimum corporate income tax from $500 to $50.
H5155Limits state spending to the increase in the Consumer Price Index or 3%, whichever is lower.
H5157Lowers the gas tax from 32 to 27 cents per gallon (Comment: And the bidding war with S0053 is on!)
H5158Reduces the cigarette tax by 5 cents per cigarette (that’s 50 mills, for readers who are into arcane units of measure) which must mean there are 20 cigarettes per pack, since the official description says “this act would reduce the cigarette tax by one dollar ($1.00) per pack”.
H5167Reduces the minimum corporate income tax from $500 to $250.
H5170I think this raises the marginal tax rate on incomes over $500,000 from 4.99% to 9.99%, but I’m not sure it’s written-up properly in the legislation.
H5171I think this raises the marginal tax rate on incomes over $500,000 from 4.99% to 7.99%. It’s written more clearly than the previous bill, but I’m not sure how the alternative minimum tax figures in.
H5185Employers with 3 or fewer employees and employees “engaged in domestic service” would be exempt from workers’ compensation laws. (Comment: Who’s trying to get out of paying workers comp to their nanny?).
H5207Would place an optional check-off on the Rhode Island income tax form, for donating money to the Rhode Island Agricultural Lands Preservation Commission.
H5208Creates “a state income tax credit of ten percent (10%) of the cost of installing the cistern not to exceed one thousand dollars ($1,000)”.
H5209Would cap the assessed value of a farmland estate at $2.5 million, for purposes of the estate tax. Companion to S0097
H5210Would exempt “horses used in commercial farming operations” and “feed for animals used in commercial farming” from the state sales tax.
H5234Authorizes cities and towns to issue bonds “to pay the uninsured portion of any [non-pension related] court judgment or settlement” in an amount up to 10% of the current town budget, without voter approval (currently, the ceiling is 5%).
H5237“Real property held by small businesses, as defined by the United States Small Business Administration, at least five (5) years prior to an exchange, shall be appraised at its use value rather than its full and fair cash value”.
H5249From the official description: “This act would require the state to pay interest on tax refunds not issued within sixty (60) days”.
H5250Extends the sales-tax exemptions applied to automobiles to pickup trucks under 10,000 lbs.

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