RI’s Paradox of Being Great, but Still Failing
Remember when the local PolitiFact took the Ocean State Policy Research Institute (OSPRI) to task for claiming that the estate tax was driving Rhode Islanders out, especially down to America’s retirement peninsula? One statement from that article has stuck with me, over the year and a half since:
One expert was Kail Padquitt, staff economist for The Tax Foundation, a think tank that studies federal and state tax policies, who said he hasn’t seen any proof that the prospect of paying estate taxes drives people to move.
“You can see people are leaving a state, but (determining) why they are leaving is hard,” Padquitt said. “Florida has sunshine, low taxes and warmth. Why wouldn’t people move there?”
That rhetorical question has come to mind recently for a couple of reasons. For one thing, I’ve been working on a related bit of research for OSPRI’s successor organization, the RI Center for Freedom & Prosperity, to be released next week.
Today, though, the quotation came to me in relation to another, separate but related, context. As most folks who follow RI closely have already heard by now, CNBC placed the state dead last (again) on its business friendliness ranking, and very poorly in other areas. Marc Comtois’s Anchor Rising post on the subject includes a reaction to RI Future’s Bob Plain.
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