Non-Essential Spending in RI: How to Pay for Tax Cuts

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Non-Essential Spending

in the Ocean State

Budget Savings vs Job Creation

February 24, 2014
Report Preview (check back in March for complete report)

With the state of Rhode Island in economic crisis, and with massive structural budget deficits projected for years to come, Ocean State lawmakers have the opportunity to both grow the economy and reduce deficits by trimming non-essential spending and cutting taxes in the FY2015 state budget.

Good government is about setting spending priorities, so that opportunities exist ...

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Governor’s Corporate Tax Cut Plan Not a Game Changer

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Based on analysis by the Rhode Island Center for Freedom & Prosperity, Governor Chafee’s proposed reduction in the corporate tax rate from 9% to 6%, if implemented as a stand-alone policy, would have a very modest positive impact on the Rhode Island economy, despite having a more notable effect on the state’s national rankings*. When this tax reform is then offset by an increase in a national internet tax, the results are likely to become negligible or even negative.

At face ...

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Economic Impact of Rhode Island’s Renewable Energy Standard

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Executive Summary

In 2004, the State of Rhode Island enacted Renewable Energy Standards (RES) through legislation known as the Clean Energy Act. Many of the assumptions used to justify the Act turned out to be largely inaccurate, and implementation of its mandates will exact more costs to the Rhode Island economy, with only limited benefits, if any.

This study estimates the economic impact of maintaining RES mandates over the next six years in the Ocean State. Rhode Island’s energy prices are already ...

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Rhode Island Employment Snapshot, December 2013: RI Alone

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The bleakest aspect of the latest employment report from the national Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) is that Rhode Island is now all alone in last place.  Whereas the Ocean State moved from 9.0% unemployment to 9.1% unemployment, Nevada dropped from the same level to 8.8%.  Rhode Island is now 0.3 percentage points behind any other state in the country.

The next-bleakest aspect is that, had Rhode Island not lost so many people from its labor force — that is, if ...

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Math of a 3.0% sales tax is budget friendly

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No Budget Cliff:

A legitimate concern for lawmakers when considering sales tax reform, is avoiding severe revenue shortfalls and managing the state’s monthly cash flow. In considering dropping the RI Sales Tax to 3.0%, creating up to 13,000 jobs and over $100 million in new, annual windfall revenue for cities and towns, due to growth in the retail shopping sector and related economic activities, it is important to describe how state revenue would be affected.

Annual Projections: ...

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Paying for Sales Tax Repeal

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Throughout the autumn and winter, the Special Joint Legislative Commission to Study the Sales Tax Repeal has been investigating several aspects of the proposal submitted as legislation last session by Representative Jan Malik (D, Barrington, Warren).  Having addressed pros and cons of eliminating the sales tax, as well as estimates of its effects and alternative approaches, the commission arrives at the question of how the state could adjust its budget in order to implement the plan.

Ultimately, bare numbers will have ...

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Sales Tax Commission: Testimony Highlights

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Stenhouse testimony from January 23, 2014- the testimony that was shut-down by commission members who didn’t want to hear the truth.

The Center informally compiled highlights from the first six Sales Tax Commission Hearings. Overall, every grassroots person and business owner who testified was in support of repealing or dramatically rolling-back the sales tax. Only insiders from the political class were opposed.

See the document here, which also provides detailed projections of the 0.0% and the 3% scenarios.

QUESTION: who ...

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Center Recommends Transfer of HealthSourceRI to Federal Government

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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE; January 16, 2014                              

Providence, RI - Following the Governor’s Wednesday night address and after initial review of his 2015 budget, where it is obvious that state funds will soon be needed to continue operation of the state’s healthcare exchange, the Rhode Island Center for Freedom and Prosperity, a nonpartisan public policy think tank, today called on ...

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Health Benefits Exchange Surge of Enrollments, Still Expensive

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HealthSource RI has published its enrollment numbers from its opening to January 4, after the deadline to enroll for January coverage.  In continuation of our series putting the number in context, we herein present them with reference to the federal millions that taxpayers provided in order to create an online government broker for Rhode Island’s extremely limited health insurance options.

According to the Center for Consumer Information & Insurance Oversight, under the federal Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services, ...

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OpEd: Repeal or Roll-back Anti-growth Laws

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OpEd by Mike Stenhouse, CEO, as it was published in the Providence Journal, 1/12/14

As the 2014 legislative session begins, the leaders of Rhode Island’s political class have signaled that they will not let themselves consider any big ideas to boost our state’s stagnant economy or to improve our dismal jobs outlook.

There has been much speculation about what issues the General Assembly will take up. Unfortunately, if recent history is our guide, legislators will do more harm than good, as they ...

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