Lawmakers are set to begin their annual marathon session this Thursday to vote on a budget for the fiscal year starting July first. The $8.7 billion spending plan eliminates tolls on the Sakonnet River Bridge.
House Speaker Nicholas Mattiello says he’s gotten only positive feedback about the spending plan. The budget cuts the corporate tax rate from 9 to 7 percent and raises the exemption for the inheritance tax. The spending plan also includes $12.3 million to continue paying back investors in 38 Studios.
The Sakonnet toll is eliminated through a new infrastructure funding plan that will raise vehicle inspection fees and court courts on a good driver benefit for minor offenses. The budget fully funds the state education formula, but includes no money for a state historic tax credit.
Some liberal and conservative critics fault the spending plan for what they call helping the rich and powerful at the expense of needy and middle class Rhode Islanders.
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