The Rhode Island Division of Taxation held a drawing Tuesday to award just $35 million in state historic tax credits. The General Assembly voted earlier this year to reopen the historic tax credit program.
The Division of Taxation used a drawing to pick who would get the tax credits since demand outstripped supply. State Tax Administrator David Sullivan says the recipients comprise a variety of projects expected to boost the economy.
Rhode Island continues to face worsening budget deficits for the next five years. That’s according to new information from the state budget office. The red ink could cause cutbacks in government programs.
The budget office says lawmakers face a $150 million deficit for the fiscal year starting in July 2014. As it stands, the budget hole is set to keep growing,until it tops $400 million for fiscal 2018.
The budget enacted by the General Assembly in June made some relatively minor reductions in the state’s long-term deficits.
Rhode Island continues to face onerous budget deficits for the near future -- from $149.2 million for the fiscal year starting in July 2014 to $410 million in FY 2018, according to a new five-year analysis by the state Budget Office.
The cascade of red ink will place pressure on lawmakers to find fresh spending cuts, even as new casinos in Massachusetts are expected to cut into one of Rhode Island's top revenue sources -- gambling. The legal challenge to the 2011 overhaul of the state pension system poses another possible wild card.
Governor Lincoln Chafee joins Political Roundtable this week to discuss whether RI Democrats are doing enough to move the economy forward; tolls on the Sakonnet River Bridge; NSA surveillaince; education policy; and why his poll ratings are so low.
Governor Lincoln Chafee isn't backing away from the state's placement of tolls on the Sakonnet River Bridge, despite sharp opposition from residents and business owners in the East Bay.
Chafee says he understands the toll is unpopular and that many people are economically squeezed, but he calls the approach necessary.
"Unless there's a better way to maintain our bridges, which there hasn't been yet, I won't pass on future costs to our children and grandchildren," Chafee said Thursday during a taping of RIPR's Political Roundtable.
A group of citizens has filed a lawsuit in Superior Court in an attempt to stop a supplemental tax increase in Woonsocket. Woonsocket officials hope to use the tax to overcome a persistent budget crisis.
But the lawsuit filed on behalf of several taxpayers claims the supplemental tax doesn’t comply with the General Assembly legislation that authorized it. The legislation was based on Woonsocket being able to reach almost 4 million dollars in other budget savings. But the suit says that since almost 3 million of the savings are subject to legal action, that may never be realized.
Organizers said the vast majority of workers in a state-subsidized child care program have indicated their support for joining a union.
Chas Walker of Service Employees Union, Local 1199, said more than 500 of about 600 workers have signed cards to become union members. “We’ve filed those cards with the state Labor Board and it’s the process in the law,” said Walker, “and we’re looking forward to having an election as soon as possible.”
The General Assembly passed a law this year allowing the child care workers to unionize.
The head of the state Republican Party is blaming legislative Democrats for failing to improve Rhode Island’s economy. The state’s unemployment rate climbed by a tenth of percent in July, to 8.9 percent.
State GOP chairman Mark Smiley said the General Assembly’s Democratic leaders are wrong to brag about their efforts when the unemployment rate is going in the wrong direction.
State Republican chairman Mark Smiley issued a news release Monday, taking to task Rhode Island's Democratic legislative leaders for the moribund condition of the local economy. Smiley's message -- if we can borrow a phrase from Bill Clinton's 1992 presidential run -- is: It's (still) the economy, stupid.