Tax Foundation infrastructure user fees map

The problem with user fees (for RI) is that direct and comprehensible spending thwarts grift.

By Justin Katz | April 26, 2021 |

How about a fun, wonky post?  The featured image that you see is a Tax Foundation map ranking states by the percentage of their infrastructure spending that is funded by user fees.  In the Tax Foundation’s views, higher user fees are preferable: Both the federal government and the states raise revenue for infrastructure spending through…

Legislation Under the Radar – Mo’ Money for the General Fund

By Justin Katz | January 16, 2013 |

I’m going through all legislation as it’s introduced to the Rhode Island General Assembly, and the Center for Freedom & Prosperity will be putting out a real-time Freedom Index — essentially a watch list — in a couple of weeks. That’ll have the collection of good and bad within the think tank’s scope. Card check?…

Tiverton Toll Meeting Shows Rhode Islanders Have to Stop Fighting Fire with Paper

By Justin Katz | September 28, 2012 |

Last night, I attended the first organizational meeting for the Tiverton branch of Sakonnet Toll Oppostion Platform (STOP), a cross-community effort to stop the state of Rhode Island from placing a toll on the Sakonnet River Bridge.  If I was skeptical about the ability of residents to prevent the tolls before, I’m pretty well convinced that…

Legislative Votes For and Against Tolls on the Sakonnet River Bridge

By Justin Katz | August 10, 2012 |

Rhode Islanders, mainly from the East Bay, have organized a protest at Clements Market in Portsmouth, this afternoon, against tolls on the Sakonnet River Bridge. The hope is that the language that the General Assembly passed into law, this session, as Article 20 of the budget bill (7323Aaa) can be reversed. That article and the…

State Agrees They Can’t Borrow Forever

By Patrick Laverty | August 6, 2012 |

Every two years, I’ve had this thought that the referenda on the ballot needs an “other side.” At least someone to explain what it means to the voters from the other point of view. Every time there’s a question about roads or bridges or buildings at URI or open space, every one of those questions…

Governor Chafee, DOT make right call – NO Transportation Bond Ballot Item in 2012

By Marc Comtois | August 6, 2012 |

It’s about time, via the ProJo: For the first time in memory, the state won’t be asking voters’ permission this year to borrow tens of millions of dollars for the state’s transportation system – and running up borrowing costs each time. The change will save many millions in interest, with the savings to increase until…

Against Borrowing in Providence or Anywhere

By Justin Katz | July 28, 2012 |

In his Saturday column, Ted Nesi makes a point that I’d been thinking about as the week came to a close, related to a proposed $40 million infrastructure bond in Providence: Governments should borrow to fund long-term infrastructure projects that have a higher rate of return than the interest on the bonds, but [in Providence’s…

A Decade of Moving Next Door

By Justin Katz | July 17, 2012 |

I’ve been following taxpayer migration data for years, but in a haphazard way. A new study that I’ve coauthored for the RI Center for Freedom & Prosperity finally gave me the opportunity to review all fifteen years of available data from the IRS. The picture — from the 2003 beginning of what can only be…

Watch Out, Trash Haulers And Central Landfill! Regulation Enforcement Straight Ahead!

By Monique Chartier | December 10, 2011 |

Johnston’s Mayor Polisena has gone ballistic over the serious odor which now regularly emanates from the state landfill. (It was noticeable even this morning on Route 95 – yes, 95 – just south of Exit 14 in a moving vehicle with all windows rolled up.) And who can blame him. Sure, he’s gonna sue. But…

And Here’s the Storm

By Justin Katz | August 28, 2011 |

So here we are, still hours away from the brunt of the storm, and we’ve already lost power. National Grid’s line is busy. Good thing I have a print subscription to the Proto… and a fully charged smart phone to keep me connected. If only I had a smart, chargeable fridge.

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