Don't Think, Don't Ask, Pay Tax, Vote for Us

We really should rethink this whole income tax thing.

By Justin Katz | April 25, 2022 |

Socialist Rhode Island state senator Sam Bell (Democrat, Providence) has gotten a good deal of richly deserved negative pushback over truly terrible legislation he submitted in the state General Assembly (which is not to say that some of the correspondence he’s received hasn’t gone too far).  As the cosigners on Bell’s legislation back away from…

A water drop and ripples

Something as reasonable and helpful as temporarily eliminating the gas tax has no chance in RI.

By Justin Katz | February 23, 2022 |

Well, we have to thank Rhode Island Republicans for trying: The Rhode Island Senate Republican Caucus is proposing the state eliminate gas tax for the remainder of the year. “We want to direct the influx in tax revenue back to residents and provide relief from the crushing pain at the pump,” Senate Minority Whip Jessica…

RIPEC state revenue and spending infographic

RIPEC’s recommendation to slow spending is based on obvious facts.

By Justin Katz | February 17, 2022 |

Perhaps the key detail to be found in the report and interactive tools that the Rhode Island Public Expenditures Council (RIPEC) just released is to be found at the top of its associated infographic.  As shown in the featured image of this post, although Rhode Island is the 18th state in the country for per…

A water drop and ripples

What does the BBB Act stand for, anyway?

By Justin Katz | January 27, 2022 |

From Preston Brashers’s report, the three Bs appear to stand for “Build Bureaucracy Bigger”: The Build Back Better Act has several provisions that make Congress less accountable for U.S. tax policy and give unaccountable bureaucrats more control. The act would (1) give the IRS more regulatory authority, (2) task IRS agents with finding new revenues,…

A water drop and ripples

Property taxes shouldn’t interfere in the price mechanism for real estate.

By Justin Katz | January 27, 2022 |

As I’ve written before, when considering a state’s mix of all the different taxes, I’m not as bothered by high property taxes as other folks on the hawk side of the taxation spectrum.  That said, the Rhode Island Public Expenditure Council (RIPEC) makes a good point that differentiations between different types of property should be…

A water drop and ripples

Here’s a great response to demands for student debt cancelation.

By Justin Katz | January 12, 2022 |

Robert Wiblin gets to the economics of student debt cancelation in a dead-on way with this comment: Cancelling student debt is good but we could do more. The government should also tax non-college grads in order to fund a $5,000 annual gift for all college grads as a way to show appreciation for how smart…

A mural on a highway bridge

RI tax policy should consider the distinction between being here and doing things here.

By Justin Katz | January 7, 2022 |

The Rhode Island Public Expenditures Council (RIPEC) notes that Rhode Island’s downward slide on the Tax Foundation Business Tax Climate Index continues, with the Ocean State exiting the 30-something range on the bad side for the first time since 2017, at 40.  The only saving graces are that Connecticut has been stuck at 47 forever…

A water drop and ripples

Is Ruggerio dialing back the progressive wave?

By Justin Katz | December 23, 2021 |

Reading political tea leaves from interviews is an iffy game, but this feels like a bit of a tone change from Democrat Senate President Dominick Ruggerio: On the Rhode Island Report podcast, state Senate President Dominick J. Ruggerio said he opposes raising the income tax rate for the richest Rhode Islanders, saying he fears they…

A water drop and ripples

Incorrect truck tolls are another source of inconvenience.

By Justin Katz | December 16, 2021 |

When people in government are pushing for new programs, especially programs to extract money from the economy, it’s crucial to remember all the little unforeseen events — inconveniences, errors, and so on.  The fact that nothing ever works as perfectly in real life as it does on paper is why voters and taxpayers ought always…

A water drop and ripples

Connecticut provides a fantastic case study in a state moving progressive on taxation…

By Justin Katz | October 11, 2021 |

… too bad it’s not studied more.  (Maybe because academics know what they’ll find.)  Anyway, it now takes the most-taxed award: Connecticut received the dubious honor on Sept. 29 of displacing New Jersey as the state with the highest taxpayer burden, according to a new “Financial State of the States” report from Truth-in-Accounting (TIA). Illinois,…