Wednesday, April 11, 2007

Fair Taxation Could Give Money to Poor Kids

Today I rec'd 2 interesting e-mails. One was out of Sen. Gibbs' office (as Chair/Co-chair?) of the Joint Child Care Commission requesting members to attend a May meeting on a presentation on "child care cuts and child care in general." Members are urged to attend 3 rallies (none here) to influence the leg to restore $ to the guv's budget. These are good things. However, the IRONY is that Sen. Gibbs' good buddy is the one who made the cuts.

Who will change the budget is Democrats. Her campaigning (as our Sen.) one way or the other is practically meaningless. That's why she encourages her committee to do it.We elect June Knows Best each year because....we do. As much as I applaud these efforts, I wonder where the extra $ will materialize from? Is she advocating other budget cuts or is she asking for additional funds to be raised.

Ah, but Ocean State Action (the other e-mail) and I have a suggestion. There is a new report out from the Campaign for R.I.'s Priorities, "Tax Tricks: Corporate Income Tax Evasion in R.I." "...[Large] corporations, many of them based out of state, avoid paying an estimated $12 million annually in Rhode Island state income tax through the use of just two corporate income tax loopholes.

“It is time for large, multi-state corporations that do business in Rhode Island to pay their fair share in taxes,” said Karen Malcolm, Executive Director of Ocean State Action, which coordinates the campaign. “Businesses like Wal-Mart and Toys ‘R’ Us benefit from our state’s public, yet they are taking advantage of loopholes and forcing a greater share of the taxes onto the rest of us – pay Rhode Island families and small businesses.”

As a small business owner, I certainly agree. I didn't pay like Wal-Mart "...just 2.0 percent of its Rhode Island income in state taxes in 2005, while middle-income Rhode Islanders paid 10.7 percent of their income, and low-income residents paid 11.5 percent of their income." Did you?

"The report outlines the impact of two “tax tricks” – the Passive Investment Corporation (PIC) loophole and the “Nowhere Income” loophole." We are one of the few states offering these tax incentives. These are NOT available to small business owners.

There are three bills out there winding their way through the lege:

1. House Bills 5618, 5619, and 5756, Rep. Edith Ajello (D-Providence)

2. Senate Bills 401 and 437, Sen. Steven Alves (D-West Warwick) and Senate Bill 583, Sen. Charles Levesque (D-Portsmouth).

These bills eliminate the tax loopholes. Good bills. Fair taxation. Let your leges know where you stand. Maybe closing these holes would help fund the child care cuts (among others) the the guv sliced from the budget. Sen. Gibbs, where do you stand? It doesn't say anything on your blog/website????

"Members of the Campaign will team up with Rhode Island Jobs with Justice for an action outside the Providence Post Office on tax day, next Tuesday, April 17, at 3:45pm, to talk to fellow Rhode Islanders who are submitting their taxes about Wal-Mart’s tax avoidance strategies."

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