Chafee’s Prescription for Rhode Island: Higher Taxes

Right out of the gate, gubernatorial candidate Lincoln Chafee calls for the expansion of the sales tax in a state that already has the second highest sale tax rate, at 7 percent. In all fairness, as The Providence Journal pointed out today, Rhode Island also has the longest list of exemptions from the sales tax. But what is exempted are things like groceries and medication, which everyone, everyone that is except apparently Chafee, think should be exempted. Here is Chafee defending his tax:

At least “you have choices on the sales tax. You can spend $50 on groceries, or you can spend $40.… You can buy the Cadillac or you can buy the Chevrolet. You have those choices. With the property tax, you don’t,” he argued.

Leave it to him to unite Republicans and Democrats on this issue:

Added state GOP Chairman Giovanni Cicione: “A stunning move — we’ll tax the poor to fix our addiction to spending.… This is not a ‘new way forward,’ but the same old backwards path to buying union votes by raising taxes on regular Rhode Islanders.”

Added Patrick Lynch, brother of Bill Lynch and attorney general: “At a time when people are already struggling to decide if they can afford groceries or medicine, Senator Chafee wants to tax them both and make it more expensive for Rhode Island’s families.”

To his credit, Chafee also said Rhode Island also needs to rein in spending. But here’s a radical idea: why not curb the spending first, before we even talk about creating new taxes?

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One response to “Chafee’s Prescription for Rhode Island: Higher Taxes

  1. Wait, you’re surprised that Senator Chafee has united Republicans and Democrats against his own Independent candidacy?

    Patrick Lynch, who is also running for governor is obviously biased against the senator, and the Republican Party is so out-of-touch with Rhode Island voters that they are considering running ultra-conservative Steve Laffey as their party’s candidate.

    The fact of the matter is, that if you listened to Senator Chafee’s announcement speech, you will find that he DID say he wants to look at reigning in wasteful government spending *before* making any changes to the tax code.

    To quote him directly: “Make no mistake, I will oppose any changes to our taxes without first reforming our spending, particularly the mandates.”

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