FY2024 Budget and 2023 General Assembly Session in Review

2023 Session in Review Rhode Island’s Fiscal Year 2024 Budget – authorizing $14.0 billion in total expenditures, including $5.43 billion in state General Revenue – along with other legislation enacted during the 2023 General Assembly session, substantial investments were made in Rhode Island and Rhode Islanders, while leaving on the table important proposals. Our review of the 2023 session highlights …

An Equity Review of the Proposed FY2024 Rhode Island State Budget

Budget Equity Review Rhode Island’s annual state budget is the most important piece of legislation proposed, debated, and enacted each year. The budget is a statement of our values and priorities and has been called a moral document. As residents of this state, we are obligated to understand whether the budget, in its many expenditures and investments, elevates our identified …

Cannabis Legalization in RI: A Racist History Demands Equitable Reform

Three proposals to legalize cannabis for adult recreational use in Rhode Island were presented during the 2021 legislative session: Senate Bill 568, House Bill 6370, and Article 11 of Governor McKee’s proposed FY2022 budget. The proposals are estimated to yield around $17M annually. Rhode Island legalized cannabis for medical use in 2006 and decriminalized possession of small amounts of cannabis …

Rhode Islanders Don’t Move Because of Tax Policy

In order to grow thriving families and communities and a prosperous economy, Rhode Island depends upon tax revenues to provide for critical public goods and services. Rhode Island’s personal income tax system is moderately progressive, meaning that individuals and families with the lowest incomes pay a lower percentage than those with higher incomes. Those with the highest incomes can afford …

COVID-19: Protecting Rhode Islanders and the State’s Economy

The COVID-19 pandemic is both a public health crisis and an economic crisis. When put together these become a moral crisis. Many people have been asked to make temporary economic sacrifices in order to protect public health and save lives. When we ask people to make such sacrifices, we, as a state, have a moral obligation to help them. And …

Are Economic Development Tax Incentives Reports Facilitating Transparency and Accountability?

Like most states, Rhode Island offers numerous tax incentives seeking to generate economic activity and create jobs. These Economic Development Incentives aim to leverage state revenues to encourage new business startups, facilitate the expansion of existing businesses, and attract new businesses to the state. The incentives take many forms, including those of tax credits, tax exemptions, tax deductions, and preferential …

Why Repealing/Cutting the Estate Tax Will Hurt Rhode Island

Rhode Island’s estate tax provides revenues for programs and services critical to a strong economic foundation for the Ocean State. In 2014, the General Assembly increased the estate tax exemption to $1.5 million (an amount which has increased, due to inflation adjustments, to $1,561,719). In the four years since this change, Rhode Island has foregone $103.2 million in revenues through …

Who Pays?, 6th editon

A new study recently released by the Institute on Taxation and Economic Policy (ITEP) and The Economic Progress Institute finds that the lowest-income Rhode Islanders pay 53 percent more in taxes as a percent of their income compared to the state’s wealthiest residents. The study, Who Pays? A Distributional Analysis of the Tax Systems in All 50 States, analyzes tax …

The Tax Cuts and Jobs Act Overview

In December, Congress passed, and the President signed into law, the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act (“the Act”) which includes changes to both the federal personal income tax and the federal corporate income tax. The Act results in very large tax cuts for higher-income earners, foreign investors, and corporations. The resulting loss of an almost $1.5 trillion in federal revenue …