To the Editor:
The present method of 7 percent sales tax on some items and a 1 percent community tax is not sufficient.
Woonsocket needs $4 million just to keep things going for a few months. They need this money now. Providence is reeling; East Providence – deep trouble; Central Falls – Amen; and now West Warwick.
The first step is mayors need to lobby for a 2 percent community tax on all goods and all services. Governor Chafee, Senator Gordon Fox and Ms. Paiva Weed agree and should get this passed. As a result, cities would start to get revenue, and if prices and service fees escalate, no cities and towns would have their own COLAS (cost of living adjustments), roads could be repaired, schools funded, etc. Continue to work out retirement benefits.
In the second step, the state of Rhode Island reduces sales tax from 7 percent to 5 percent, but apply it to all goods and services. This would make us competitive with neighboring states.
People on welfare, unemployed and disabled would receive a card to show when they purchase goods or services, and they would not have to pay above taxes – this gives them 7 percent more buying power. This would stimulate business that would generate taxes. If you are earning less than $30,000, you would also be eligible for a card. Violators would lose the card on the first offense and be fined $500 on the second offense. This represents approximately 25 percent of the population; the remaining 75 percent that are doing better would pay the above taxes. Boats, planes, whatever…if you can afford a boat or plane, you can invest in your state. If you’re buying junk food, do without; you’ll be happier and healthier. People would be able to purchase automobiles and appliances a lot easier.
Do you really think a firm would come to Rhode Island knowing our fiscal status? Do you really think tourism will prosper, or people will come here for our fine food, and be taxed incessantly for renting a condo? Never mind the poor waiters who need the tips. Rhode Island residents, change your attitude – change or fail.
Under my suggestion, all you have to do is have the leadership change the numbers. Revenue should come from all the residents. If they can earn under $30,000, they cannot afford it, but the 75 percent can. They seem to be able to go PPAC and professional basketball games without any trouble, and walk around with phones and games and do their texting. These items aren’t cheap.
Why not let Rhode Island be issued stocks for $500 to create a business attraction fund. This fund could produce millions to induce firms to build a plant in Rhode Island, producing jobs. If the idea works, maybe the $500 stock could gain in value, producing more sales. Quit crying and keep trying.