Corporate tax credits are more progressive than some progressives realize.

The Rhode Island Office of Revenue Analysis releases regular reports summarizing the state’s tax credit programs, and sometimes progressive politicians and journalists get a news story out of them.  What’s disappointing is the paucity of the opposing voices.  According to Katherine Gregg’s Providence Journal article the Rhode Island Business Coalition is fine with ending the program for any new participants.

For their part, the authors of the report acknowledge that the businesses that use the program tend to be among the largest, so without programs designed to make them stay, like tax credit programs, the state’s economy could suffer.

There we see the underlying problem that nobody wants to address.  Rhode Island’s economic policy is terrible.  We’ve taken a beautiful state in a great location and made it so difficult and risky to operate in that we have to lure businesses here.  Progressives with a coherent philosophy should realize this is their ideal policy.  They get to pick and choose who gets relief from what imposition and to maintain a lever for bribery and ideological pressure.

I’m all for ending tax credit programs, but we should lower taxes and regulations generally.  If we make Rhode Island a beacon for economic activity, businesses will pay their full taxes to be here.

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