New report finds RI poor pay much more in taxes than rich

Jan 29, 2013

A new report highlights the disparity in tax rates paid by the poorest and wealthiest citizens in Rhode Island.

The poorest people in Rhode Island pay almost twice as much in taxes as a share of their income as do the wealthiest households in the state. That, according to the fourth edition of “Who Pays?,” a report published by the non-partisan Washington-based Institute on Taxation and Economic Policy.

According to the report, Rhode Island’s poorest residents pay 12 percent of their income on taxes, while the wealthiest one percent pay six-point-four percent. The middle class pay 10.5 percent.

Kate Brewster of the Economic Progress Institute, formerly the Poverty Institute,  says this is proof that Rhode Island’s tax code needs an overhaul.

“The report provides clear evidence that our tax structure is quite regressive and policies are really needed to improve fairness for the state’s low and modest income taxpayers,” says Brewster.

The report labels ten states the “terrible ten” for having the most regressive tax systems. Pennsylvania is the only northeast state on the list.

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