Chafee, Caprio highlight tax issue at first televised debate for governor

Providence, R.I. – The six major candidates for governor last night squared off during their first televised debate.

Exchanges between independent candidate Lincoln Chafee and Democrat Frank Caprio highlighted the Channel 12 debate. Chafee says his proposed temporary sales tax increase is better than passing on property tax hikes to local taxpayers. He says his proposal would mean 50 cents in tax on a $50 clothing purchase.

"And the experts say that the sales tax is the least harmful to economic growth, and property tax is the most harmful," Chafee says. "So we're going in the wrong direction, passing state problems down to the cities and towns."

Chafee criticized Caprio's plans as thin on substance. Caprio responded by calling Chafee the candidate more likely to raise taxes. Chafee and Caprio were the frontrunners in a recent Rasmussen poll.

Also taking part in the debate at the University of Rhode Island were Democrat Patrick Lynch, Moderate Ken Block, and Republicans Victor Moffitt and John Robitaille.