Massive Burdens on Businesses & Families with No Environmental Benefit
Providence, RI – On Earth Day 2021 (April 20-22), a coalition of 12 advocacy and citizens groups joined the Center’s prior call on Governor Daniel McKee to withdraw Rhode Island from the controversial TCI Gas Tax regional compact, ostensibly designed to reduce carbon emissions, but, which in reality, is nothing more than a pure money grab.
The National Federation of Independent Businesses (NFIB) and the RI Center for Freedom & Prosperity, authors of the open letter, thanked McKee for his prior voiced support for the small business community. The coalition’s letter went on to point out how artificial new fuel taxes, the goal of the Transportation & Climate Initiative (TCI), would create large and unnecessary costs on the private sector – for no environmental benefit.
With a TCI Gas Tax bill expected to be submitted soon, after former Governor Raimondo signed-on to the TCI scheme in 2020, the 12 group coalition also called on the current Governor to pledge to veto any related legislation.
“The dishonesty of TCI proponents is alarming,” claimed the Center’s CEO, Mike Stenhouse. “They falsely claim they can achieve major emissions reductions with a minor gas tax. In reality, the multi-year plan would raise fuel taxes by 40 to 50 cents per gallon … and would do virtually nothing to reduce global carbon emissions.”
The letter cited studies and public polls demonstrating that the highly regressive gas tax, and the projected $1200 per family cost, are highly unpopular among the public. A petition opposing TCI has already generated over 10,000 emails to state lawmakers.
The coalition letter also discusses the competitive advantage the Ocean State would enjoy regionally by not joining the TCI compact and keeping fuel taxes where they are.
The letter concludes it appeal to McKee by stating: “Withdrawing our state from TCI would be a terrific first-step and would send a strong signal that you are serious about improving our state’s dismal business climate.”
In March, the Center unilaterally called on McKee to withdraw from TCI. After receiving strong support, this larger coalition effort was put together.
The entire letter and a listing of all 12 coalition signatories can be found here.