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Sunday, October 15, 2017

Rhode Island’s winners and losers

By Steve Ahlquist in Rhode Island’s Future

The wealthiest Rhode Islanders would receive the greatest benefit from the GOP and Donald Trump‘s proposed tax cut plan, while nearly 1 in 5 Rhode Islanders would see their taxes increase by over $1,800. 

The analysis come from the Institute on Taxation and Economic Policy (ITEP) which concluded that the “top one percent of Rhode Island taxpayers would get a tax cut of $55,510, nearly 2/3 of the overall tax change, compared with an average tax cut of just $240 for the bottom 60 percent of taxpayers in the state.”

“Tax cuts that largely benefit the wealthy often come with a heavy dose of cuts to vital programs and services,” said Rachel Flum, executive director of the Economic Progress Institute

“Reducing investments in health care, education, food assistance, disability insurance and other programs is too steep a price to pay to give the wealthy a tax cut.”

According to ITEP:

“The framework would particularly benefit those with incomes greater than $1 million. These households will make up just 0.5 percent of Rhode Island’s population but would receive 57.2 percent of the tax cuts if the plan was in effect next year. This group would receive an average tax cut of $90,100 in 2018 alone, which would increase their income by an average of 3.4 percent.

“The middle fifth of households in Rhode Island, people who are literally the state’s “middle-class” would not fare as well. Despite being 20 percent of the population, this group would receive just 8.8 percent of the tax cuts that go to Rhode Island under the framework. In 2018 this group is projected to earn between $38,900 and $67,100. The framework would cut their taxes by an average of $390, which would increase their income by an average of 0.7 percent.”

Steve Ahlquist is an award-winning journalist, writer, artist and founding member of the Humanists of Rhode Island, a non-profit group dedicated to reason, compassion, optimism, courage and action. The views expressed are his own and not necessarily those of any organization of which he is a member. and Twitter: @SteveAhlquist