Required Sales Tax Cut

Legally Required Sales Tax Cut Heads Center’s Legislative Agenda, as Counter to Progressives’ ‘Economic Justice Platform’


THE HALF-PERCENT PROMISE Center Calls for Statutorily-Required Sales Tax CutFull Agenda in Stark Contrast to “Women’s Economic Justice Platform”

Providence, RI — With Rhode Island doomed to lose a prized US Congressional seat because of its relative population loss, and in direct contrast to the regressive policy plan recently put forth by progressive Democrats, which would only force more people out of state, the Rhode Island Center for Freedom & Prosperity today published its full “Freedom Agenda” for 2019, headed by a call for the state to comply with The Half-Percent Promise, its own statutory requirement to lower the state sales tax. 

Existing state law (General Law 44-18-18) specifies a “trigger” for a sales tax rate reduction to 6.5% (from its current level of 7.0%) if certain internet sales tax collection criteria are met. The rationale for this law was to relieve Rhode Islanders of the additional burden of imposing a sales tax on a broader range of purchased goods, by easing the tax: The Center, in its 6.5% Sales Tax policy brief cites the full statutory language and argues, for all intents and purposes, that this trigger threshold has been met.

“The State of Rhode Island passed a law in 2011 promising the people of Rhode Island, that if it started collecting Internet sales taxes, it would offset this broadened tax-base by lowering the tax-rate,” said Mike Stenhouse, CEO for the Center. “With major retailers suffering across our state, it’s time for government to fulfill its half-percent promise and provide some much needed relief to the hard-working taxpayers and businesses in our state.”

The Center’s larger “Freedom Agenda“, designed to attract more families and business to the Ocean State, stands in direct contrast to the regressive policies put forth by progressive-Democrats last week. The Center’s agenda calls for specific tax and regulatory cuts, more healthcare choices, and protection of constitutional rights. A policy brief on raising the state Estate Tax exemption is expected soon.

Conversely, the “Women’s Economic Justice Platform” is headed by legislation that would increase the likelihood that an employee might sue his/her employer on some  vague basis of wage inequality. Other progressive legislative items would place even more onerous mandates on businesses, increase taxes, limit healthcare options, and severely infringe on individual liberties. 

In its Zero.Zero report many years ago, the Center’s extensive research and economic modeling calling for a full repeal, or reduction to 3.0%, of the state sales tax, as the most effective way to grow jobs, gained significant legislative interest. 

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