A 21st Century Sales Tax: Why Governor Chafee’s plan to modernize the sales tax is necessary

March 11, 2011 Rhode Island must modernize its antiquated sales tax in order to maintain investments in public services that improve our quality of life, protect our families and businesses, and help grow our economy. Today, we have one of the most narrow sales tax bases in the country, and our collections from this important source of revenue are well …

The Basics of the RI Works Program

The Rhode Island Works program, the state’s “welfare” program, provides minimal cash support and work readiness services to approximately 5,800 low-income families. RI Works was established under the Temporary Assistance to Needy Families (TANF) block grant, which allows states great flexibility in program design. Rhode Island should have a program that provides a real “safety net” for children and an …

Rhode Island Standard of Need

November 10, 2010 Every two years, The Economic Progress Institute publishes The Rhode Island Standard of Need (RISN) to provide an accurate picture of how much it costs to live in Rhode Island, and to show how government assistance programs help families meet basic needs. The 2010 RISN found that it cost a single parent family nearly $50,000, and a …

Building a Skilled Workforce: Moving Forward

October 10, 2010 An overview of the progress Rhode Island made to date in advancing the adult education system, strategic planning for a comprehensive workforce development system and creating a statewide career pathways system driven by industry needs. The recommendations focus on implementing and enhancing system planning and providing adequate funding to support a multi-year plan. Read the full report (PDF, …

Tax Topics for 2010

July 11, 2010 Rhode Islanders understand that we make a collective investment in a safe, prosperous state by setting aside a portion of our income to pay for the kinds of public structures and services that enhance the quality of life for all of us. In order to get Rhode Islanders back on their feet, and to ensure that our …

Office of Child Support Reductions Weaken Enforcement Capabilities

May 10, 2010 The Child Support program, operated by the Office of Child Support Services, is vitally important to tens of thousands of Rhode Island single parent families. This issue brief explains how reductions in staff and high caseloads weaken the ability of child support enforcement to establish orders and collect support for families. Child Support Staff Cuts 2010 Report (PDF, …

An Uneven Path: State Investments in Women’s Economic Self-Sufficiency

Income and work support programs are vital to a woman’s ability to seek and sustain employment while caring for her family. Rhode Island, like all states, has invested in programs that help low and modest-income working mothers and their families make ends meet. These programs include child care assistance, cash assistance, low-cost health insurance, and child support enforcement. In recent …

Corporate Giveaways Costly to Rhode Island Taxpayers

March 27, 2010 Ocean State missing the boat by failing to enact combined reporting and decoupling from the federal “domestic production deduction” corporate tax break Over the past decade, Rhode Island has given up hundreds of millions of dollars in revenue through a variety of tax breaks and giveaways of questionable value to the economy.  Even before the economic downturn, …

The Flat Tax Causing Steep Decline in Revenue

February 03, 2010 Over the past decade, Rhode Island has given up hundreds of millions of dollars in revenue through a variety of tax breaks of questionable value to the economy. The “flat tax” is one example of a tax break enacted in recent years that is costing the state tens of millions of dollars in forgone revenue. It has …