Sales Tax “Modernization” Gaffed: Gordon Speaks; Gov Backs Away; All Eyes Turn Keenly to the G.A.
The Pawtucket Times’ Jim Baron reports.
Gov. Lincoln Chafee’s plan to radically overhaul the state’s sales tax structure is effectively dead.
After more than six hours of nearly unanimous testimony denouncing Chafee’s proposal to lower the state sales tax from 7 to 6 percent and broaden it to a vast array of goods and services that are now exempt, House Speaker Gordon Fox had heard enough.
Fox issued a written statement shortly after the finance committee adjourned saying “Governor Chafee’s proposed multi-tiered sales tax approach is unacceptable … After speaking with a majority of House members, we will not support the current proposal.”
“The House will not pass the budget in its current form,” the Speaker announced. “We will instead develop alternatives to this proposal and will continue to work with the Governor to amend his budget submission.”
And, down the hall,
Hours later, Chafee apparently ran up the white flag. Rather than mounting a fight to save his proposal, the governor’s office issued a terse statement that said, “I look forward to working with Chairman Melo and Speaker Fox to advance an honest, responsible budget that fixes our chronic structural deficits and puts Rhode Island on a path to prosperity.”