The message that economic growth and investment are inextricably linked to a predictable tax code prevailed last night as members of the Rhode Island House approved an $8.1 billion state budget that included no modifications to the state’s personal income tax code.
We applaud the House leadership and other members who opposed amendments, introduced late in the debate last night, which would have modified the historic income tax reforms enacted in 2010. The Chamber and its membership have been vocal in opposing modifications to the current system, arguing it would be counterproductive to increase the marginal rate before the impact of the reform can be evaluated. (The first returns under the 2010 reform have just been filed, making it impossible to measure the true impact of the reform.)
Other positive outcomes of last night’s budget debate include the reinstatement of funding for workforce development and training programs and the passage of accelerating disbursements of school aid for local municipalities.
The Chamber was disappointed to learn that financing was not approved for the proposed joint nursing school between the University of Rhode Island and Rhode Island College planned for the Knowledge District. We will continue to advocate for this important economic development project.
The budget now moves to the Senate Finance Committee for hearing and then must be approved by the full Senate.
We certainly welcome the input and involvement of our members in addressing important public policy issues in the days, weeks and months ahead. Our goal is to be clear that we need to create a business climate where people are prepared to invest in the state and provide the jobs that are required to grow revenues and employ our residents.
For more information on the Chamber’s policy priorities click here.