Menu Bar

Home           Calendar           Topics          Just Charlestown          About Us

Sunday, May 29, 2011

Letters wanted on tax plan

Rep. Helio Melo needs to hear from you
 Rep. Larry Valencia’s (Charlestown's junior state representative) communications director Robert Malin says the Chamber of Commerce is recruiting small businesses to write opposition letters to Larry’s proposed legislation to raise state income taxes on the top tax bracket.

I recently wrote in detail about Larry’s bill, the “95/5 Civic Responsibility Plan” (2011-H 6095). .

The RI Chamber’s position on this and all other tax increase proposals has been consistently “don’t do it.” Cut spending. Screw the poor. Take away public workers’ pensions. But don’t raise taxes on anybody for anything.

Rhode Island’s version of trickle-down economics – that reducing taxes on the rich will somehow crank up the state’s economy – has done no better than the national version. Neither have massive cuts to the state’s work force, to their wages and benefits, to programs for low-income families or even cuts to investments in vital infrastructure.

So what’s left is to consider where would be the fairest and most effective places to raise taxes. Rhode Island’s richest received yet another income tax cut last year, due to an outright scam by former Governor Carcieri. [He told the legislature that reconfiguring RI’s tax brackets and lowering the overall rates would result in a substantial tax hike for the wealthiest when, he later admitted, the richest were actually going to get a tax reduction].

Larry’s bill, and other similar bills also under consideration, would move us back toward a fair and progressive tax system.

But the key guy who needs to be convinced right now is the Chair of the House Finance Committee, Representative Helio Melo (D-East Prov). Robert Malin is urgently requesting e-mails to Melo, especially from small business owners, to counter the Chamber's campaign.

Author: Will Collette