Chafee Assumes New Tax Plan is a Go
Governor Chafee’s proposed sales-tax changes have yet to be approved by the General Assembly, but plans are already under way to roll out the program, according to state officials.
State Department of Revenue officials testifying before the House Finance Committee this week said that the department has already begun the work of drafting regulations and notices and assembling public outreach materials to explain the changes to taxpayers and businesses.
They say the estimated cost for implementing the tax would be $126,687 in the current fiscal year and about $1.5 million in fiscal year 2012, and would require the addition of 21 new state employees to administer the tax.
On the other hand, House Finance Committee Chairman Helio Melo didn’t sound like this was being fast-tracked, much less a fait accompli
[Melio] would not commit to the Assembly hitting the administration’s hoped-for June 1 approval date. He also voiced concern that the administration was assuming about $165 million in new revenue from the sales tax, based on a July 1 implementation date.
“We are trying to be realistic here, and I hope they are, too. My concern is when a governor puts in 12 months of revenue. My question is, is that going to be reality?” he said. “Before any decision is made, we need to have an opportunity to hear from the general public and really vent this out. I don’t want to be rushed, or put under the gun.”
It’s remarkable the sort of thing the Governor is optimistic about, isn’t it? Sheesh.