Fifth Highest State & Local Tax Burden: The Sacrifice isn’t Really Shared If One Party Is Already Disproportionately “Sharing”
With difficulty, I’m going to disregard the spectacle of the governor attempting to sell his proposed $176 million sales tax hike as a remake of Rhode Island into a “tax haven” and just focus on one critical data point.
Governor Chafee has balanced his proposed budget with, on the one hand, suggested “cuts” that seem quite ethereal at this point and, on the other, a grimly real revenue stream that would represent “one of the biggest tax increases in state history“.
He describes this budget as “shared sacrifice”. This characterization contains a fatal premise: that the pre-existing budget burden or level of sacrifice is equal. Nothing could be further from the truth.
Rhode Island has the fifth highest state and local tax burden. Any addition – even one item, never mind the nightmare list proposed by the governor – to the state sales tax rolls would only exacerbate the already high level of sacrifice on one side.