taxes

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Cranston residents will face no property tax increase next year under a budget proposed Tuesday night by Mayor Allan Fung. He has submitted a $262 million spending plan that would fully fund the city’s annual pension obligations while not hiking property taxes.

The average Cranstonian pays $5,000 a year in property taxes. Fung admits that’s high, but says just keeping taxes from rising has been a challenge given state funding cuts and the devastation caused by the great flood of 2010.

Ian Donnis/File Photo / RIPR

State legislators are set to focus attention on the issue of growing economic disparity by viewing the Robert Reich documentary "Inequality For All" Wednesday afternoon. Yet there's little consensus on the most controversial way to tackle the issue -- raising the state income tax for upper-income Rhode Islanders.

Advocates of eliminating or cutting Rhode Island's sales tax will make their last stand on December 30, for now at least, before a legislative commission presents its findings and recommendation to Smith Hill leadership. Yet House Speaker Gordon Fox isn't rushing to embrace proponents' argument that reducing the tax would be an economic catalyst.

Fox's spokesman, Larry Berman, says the speaker will carefully review the recommendations from the Special Joint Legislative Commission to Study the Sales Tax Repeal.

Ian Donnis/File Photo / RIPR

Pablo Rodriguez joins the Political Roundtable this week as we discuss the troubled rollout of Obamacare; back and forth over pensions; the merits of tax stabilization in Providence; and the Democratic race for lieutenant governor.

The Red Sox win big, politics never takes a holiday, and the calendar turns to November, marking the one-year mark until Rhode Island's next general election. Thanks for stopping by. As always, feel free to send me tips and feedback at idonnis (at) ripr (org) and to follow my short takes via Twitter. Let's head in.

This week marked the one-year point until Rhode Island's decisive 2014 primary. Welcome back to my Friday column. Feel free to drop me a line at idonnis (at) ripr (dot) org and to stay posted via Twitter. Let's head in.

Bryant University

The General Assembly has passed legislation requiring Bryant University to make payments to the town of Smithfield. The university is calling the bill “heavy handed.”

Unless Smithfield and Bryant can come to an agreement, the legislation allows the town to bill the university for municipal services it uses. The non-profit university sits on some 420 acres of land that state Senator Stephen Archambault said would generate $2 million in yearly taxes.

Tax Hike For Woonsocket Residents

May 23, 2013

A tax hike is on the way for Woonsocket residents. The House has passed a supplemental tax leaving home owners with additional $240 dollars a year 5 year period.  The tax will help close the city’s 17 million dollar budget gap. Woonsocket City Councilman Roger Jalette says he does not support the proposal.

It's Tax Day in Rhode Island

Apr 15, 2013

Monday is the deadline for filing state and federal income taxes.

The Rhode Island Division of Taxation says state returns are coming in slightly slower than last year because of last minute changes to the federal tax code. As of last week, 75 percent of Rhode Islanders had filed. That’s down about three percent from last year. However, refunds are up three percent to an average of $530.

Neil Downing, a chief revenue agent for the state Division of Taxation, said people who file late pay significant penalties.

Mike Stenhouse, CEO of the Rhode Island Center for Freedom and Prosperity, joins us on Bonus Q+A to talk about the center's mission, its proposal to eliminate the sales tax, its report card on Rhode Island's competitiveness, and other issues.

Ian Donnis / RIPR

Mike Stenhouse, CEO of the Rhode Island Center for Freedom and Prosperity, joins the Roundtable this week to discuss his center's sales tax elimination plan; the debate over high-stakes testing, Woonsocket's reliance on Food Stamps, and the outlook for the 2013 Red Sox.

Welcome back to my weekly column. As always, your tips and thoughts are welcome at idonnis (at) ripr (dot) org. Let's get to the list.

Ian Donnis / RIPR

Woonsocket City Council President John Ward visits the Roundtable this week to talk about the outlook for fiscal stability in the northern Rhode Island community; the debate over tax policy in Rhode Island; and how to keep more young workers in the Ocean State.

Woonsocket City Council President John Ward is concerned that jobs provided by CVS Caremark Corporation could vanish if the company loses a big chunk of a state tax credit.

"Based on their reaction, I'm a little concerned," Ward said, referring to how CVS lobbyist Robert Goldberg said the company may reconsider its ties to Rhode Island if it loses part of a job development tax credit worth about $15 million a year.

The debate over tax policy is heating up as the House Finance Committee gets set to hear testimony Wednesday on Governor Lincoln Chafee's proposed cut to the corporate tax.

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