Rhode Island Taxpayers Group Ceasing Operations

Mar 8, 2016

A conservative-leaning citizens group, Rhode Island Taxpayers, is disbanding due to a lack of financial support.

RI Taxpayers began 12 years ago as the Rhode Island Statewide Coalition. It had also been known early on as the Rhode Island Shoreline Coalition.

In a statement, Rhode Island Taxpayers said the group was founded with the idea of raising the voice of citizens in state issues. The organization has pursued that in part with a web site and by using a daily email bulletin to distribute news stories.

But the founder of Rhode Island Taxpayers, Harry Staley, died in 2014, and the group said it has been unable to maintain Staley’s success in fundraising.

Rhode Island Taxpayers’ leaders, Larry Girouard and Larry Fitzmorris, said they hope citizens will stay involved by working with other good government groups to improve the state.

After the RI Shoreline Coalition emerged in 2004, some liberals called RISC an advocacy group for wealthy homeowners and conservatives. Staley described RISC by telling the Providence Journal at the time, "We're not here to argue that home owners on the shore should pay fewer taxes. But we would like to have a voice in how that money is spent."

This article has been updated.