Wednesday, November 07, 2007

Revenue Director Finally Appointed

** UPDATE: Just picked this interesting tidbit up from Matt at R.I.'s Future who in turn got it from the Warren Beacon:

Steve Kass, Carcieri’s communications director, said the governor has no intention of implementing the positions to study the state’s tax breaks.
Kass said many of the tax breaks are like the sales tax breaks A. Duie Pyle didn’t receive. Unless the company moves to the state, the state doesn’t see any enhanced revenue. The breaks are usually used to lure new companies to Rhode Island, Kass said.
Kass said there are more than enough people in state government’s budget offices to study the tax breaks. He also pointed out that the General Assembly is supposed to study the tax breaks before they pass them. “Why doesn’t the General Assembly have some of their budget people, who work six months of the year study them…instead of going out there improving their golf handicaps,” said Kass.

Uh, this makes no sense at all. This is the Communications Dir. for the Guv? He was unaware of the oncoming Sasse appointment? Has Kass been out-of-touch trying to improve HIS golf handicap??? Let's see - the Lege are low-paid part-timers & the Guv & his staff are WELL-PAID fulltimers. So where does the buck stop again?
As I've said before, it's the Guv's job to present a balanced budget each year. The Lege's job, then, is basically to tweak. And we could have had Charlie Fogarty..

The Guv finally got around to appointing a Director to the new Office of Revenue at $130,000. Sorry, the wage seems high when he's also eliminating 1000 State jobs, many (most?) which pay a LOT less than this. I also believe that this is a department of ONE.

That said I look forward to this new deparment created in 2006 by the Lege. " amalgam of three existing revenue-raising agencies - taxation, motor vehicles and the Lottery that each have their own directors; a new property-valuation division and a new office of revenue analysis. Among its missions: to analyze whether tax credits are accomplishing the goals for which they were created, such as economic development..."

The latter mission is of especial interest & is long in coming. Do these tax incentives that we grant to some but not others work? Or do they cost us? And what do they cost us? Yes, kind of important to know.

Sasse, an East Greenwich resident, is former director of RIPEC and has "a Masters Degree in public administration from the University of Missouri-Columbia and B.A. in political science from Florida State University."

It's a heckuva raise, I reckon , & it will be interesting to see what he makes of this potentially important & relevant position. The new director will be a "key advisor to the Governor on issues related to tax strategy, tax policy and revenue....[with a]clear focus on revenue analysis and enhancement for the State.’’

Thanks to Projo reporter, Katherine Gregg.
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