Cities & Towns Appear Unwilling to Sign Onto Meals Tax Fools Bargain

As reported by the ProJo, many, many people testified before a House panel that was convened to discuss the new meals (and other) taxes being proposed by Governor Chafee. Purportedly, the money will be sent back to cities and towns, which caused the legislators to make an interesting observation.

Lawmakers, meanwhile, noted that no city or town officials testified in support of the tax plans, even though a significant chunk of the revenue would benefit their communities….“I found that pretty amazing,” House Finance Committee Chairman Helio Melo, D-East Providence, said afterward of the lack of support from cities and towns.

Perhaps, just perhaps, cities and towns realize that this is a twofold fools bargain. What good is a raise in a tax if it can’t be collected because its added cost caused the local business to close or move? And whose to say the money that is supposedly earmarked for cities and towns won’t just end up elsewhere in the black hole of Rhode Island government?
Maybe a third reason is that they know every business is against it, so it’s not a very politically popular stance to take, either. Well, for most people anyway:

The only person to testify in favor was Kate Brewster, executive director of the Economic Progress Institute, which advocates for policies affecting the poor.

…and never met a tax increase they didn’t like. ‘Nuff said.

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