| | Advanced Search


Fall Activities for the Whole Family—Mark your calendars for the best activities of…

Skywatching: Seagrave Memorial Observatory Centennial (1914-2014)—Skyscrapers, Inc., the Amateur Astronomical Society of Rhode…

Friday Financial Five - August 29, 2014—The Tax Foundation has put together a helpful…

RI Resource Recovery Collected 6K Pounds of Clothes—RI Resource Recovery has received more than 6,000…

5 Live Music Musts - August 29, 2014—We’ve got Rhythm and Roots and a whole…

The Cellar: Late Summer Values—While this week saw some fantastic weather there…

URI Ranked in Top 50 of LGBTQ-Friendly Universities in the Country—The University of Rhode Island has been ranked…

RI Politicians Who Sought Redemption from Misdeeds—See the Rhode Island politicians who have bounced…

Fall’s Best Foodie Events—Something that's different now -- much different than…

Brian Counihan Joins Iron Works Tavern as Executive Chef—Chef Brian Counihan has joined the team at…


NEW: ‘Tax the Rich’ Group Launches Media Campaign

Monday, May 21, 2012


Rhode Islanders for Tax Equity (RITE) launched a statewide, multi-pronged media campaign today in support of legislation sponsored by Representative Maria Cimini in the House (H-7729) and Senator Joshua Miller in the Senate (S-2622) that will increase the income tax rate from 5.99% to 9.99% on individuals making over $250,000 per year. The tax rate would go down 1 percent for each 1 percent reduction in the state's unemployment rate, until the rate returns to 5.99 percent.

The campaign released a TV ad titled “Where Are The Jobs?” A sixty second radio ad titled “Why should we pay?” also went up on various Rhode Island radio stations Monday. The campaign also unveiled web and Facebook ads as well as a direct mail campaign into many legislators’ districts.

“The grassroots campaign started months ago, and we’ve been very successful at motivating middle-class Rhode Islanders to take action, but now it’s time to spread our message to a broader audience,” said George Nee, President of the Rhode Island AFL-CIO and a RITE supporter. “Sixty-eight percent of Rhode Islanders support ending tax breaks for our wealthiest citizens. Our goal is to inform them that we are on their side and give them a mechanism to take action.”

Nee continued, “When the General Assembly passed the flat tax, they said it was going to create jobs and stimulate our economy. But where are the jobs? Six years later, unemployment is still high, important services have been slashed and property taxes are disproportionately hurting lower and middle class Rhode Islanders. Yet the wealthy got wealthier. This tax policy has been a miserable failure for the vast majority of hard-working Rhode Islanders. That’s why we are doing this campaign. We have the support of the public. The facts are on our side. Now it’s time for middle-class Rhode Islanders to take action, contact their legislators and tell them to end these failed economic policies.”

According to House Fiscal Staff numbers, Rhode Island stands to recover $131 million in revenue by implementing this measure. RITE has advocated putting this money toward properly funding cities and towns, lowering property taxes, stopping tuition hikes at our colleges and universities, repairing roads and bridges, and restoring funding to the programs that help our neediest citizens.

To learn more about RITE or to see our campaign ads, visit http://www.RITaxEquity.com.


Enjoy this post? Share it with others.


People in RI have come up with some completely dumb ideas.
This is right there at the top of the list.
I never cease to be amazed.

Comment #1 by pearl fanch on 2012 05 21

Josh Miller never met a pocket that he didn't like!! This guy has GOT to go!! He was also one of the driving forces in the Henry Shelton money grab to give the utilities an extra $20 "charitable donation" from the taxpayers that do in fact pay their bills.

Comment #2 by Patrick Boyd on 2012 05 21

In the spirit of transparency one would expect that RITE will release it sources of funding for this campaign. When will this happen? Another move towards transparency would be a factual statement by RITE of what the “fair share” is and what share of revenue the “rich” are paying now. . Instead of focusing on tax rates it might be better for RITE to provide statistics on tax revenue. We know that the flat tax enacted in 2006 went from 9.9% to 5.5% with no exemptions, deductions or tax credits allowed. One would suspect that a number of tax payers are paying more taxes now under the lower flat tax than before.

Comment #3 by Michael Byrnes on 2012 05 21

Let's hope Gordon Fox keeps his promise to quash that tax hike legislation. We desperately need lower taxes across the board, not complete nonsense like this (that's backed almost entirely by the greedy union leadership; the same union leadership that's playing chicken with bankrupt cities like Cenral Falls and costing their members large portions of their pensions).

We need a "Right to Work" law to get rid of the problem, not this garbage which just perpetuates the problem.

Comment #4 by Russ Hryzan on 2012 05 21

To Patrick Boyd:
I thought it was Majority leader Mattiello who pushed for the 20.00
"Charitabe contribution" that the utilty giant National Greed is collecting.
I thought this was illegal...that no entity could force me to donate to a charity if I did not wish to...against my personal freedoms I always thought,

Comment #5 by dis gusted on 2012 05 21

Dis gusted, I was being facetious with the "charitable donation" thing. It's actually just another tax/fee/ whatever it is you want to call it. Miller was at least one of, if not the, driving force behind the Shelton thing. He was right therein the Projo photo op. The guy doesn't understand spending cuts, only tax increases. He's an ultra liberal politician.

Comment #6 by Patrick Boyd on 2012 05 22

Whenever the head of the AFL-CIO speaks, you know its wrong. There was a time when the AFL-CIO was respected....now they accept the communist workers party within their ranks. The rich pay plenty. I wish I was one of them.

Comment #7 by Dave Barry on 2012 05 22

The rich pay a pittance. Do your research.
Rich pay 14-15%
Middle class pays 37%
The numbers don't lie.....
And Patrick, I knew very well you were being facetious but I was not...It is a tax-- a hidden one-- that no utility company should
be collecting....
What will Mattiello and Miller do next? Ask the water board to have a "contribution" for the poor to have their medicines paid by us consumers?
No utility company should be collecting for the poor and homeless.
The government is not in the charity business.
Mattiello and Miller can donate to the homeless with a personal check and use it for a tax write off.
Oh wait, the Gen ASSembly got rid of itemizing, too...another tax for the state!
And none of them will vote for a tax equity bill...remember the Gen ASSembly has many lawyers in it--a very high percentage, including Mattiello and Fox-two top Gen Assembly lawmakers in the House...they make over the $250K with salaries, annuities, 401K plans, etc., etc.

Comment #8 by dis gusted on 2012 05 22

you seem like an angry man

You really need a history lesson.

Facts do not cease to exist just because they are annoyed!

Read some history books and put down your copy of rich man poor man UNIONS are a man's best friend.

Hope you get the help you need

Josh Miller is good person pick on TAVERAS he needs a reality check

Comment #9 by Donna Day on 2012 06 01


My brother in law MICHAEL J. DAY

died in the line of Duty on the PROVIDENCE FIRE DEPT

June 13,2006 at 49 years old

left a wife and 4 beautiful children

Read about heroes not horses

Comment #10 by Donna Day on 2012 06 01


That was 49 years old





Comment #11 by Donna Day on 2012 06 01

Donna - unions were created in the late 1800s to help put an end to child labor, poor/unsafe working conditions, and wage advocacy (since there wasn't minimum wage until the late 1930's).

I assure you that they were not created to extort money from members by force, and they were not created to allow public sector unions to use their money and power to elect politicians to office who would agree to giveaways that anyone with half a brain can tell are unsustainable in the long-term and would bankrupt any eneity.

We now have federal laws and agencies that control and manage child labor, working conditions, and the minimum wage. I know my history, and I know the corrupt political history of Rhode Island that's brought many of out cities and towns to the edge of bankruptcy.

It's the same political corruption (elected officials signing obviously unsustainable labor contracts is most definitely political corruption), and lack of fiscal restraint and responsibility coupled with the one-party politics in RI that's caused our mess. It's driven the taxes through the roof, driven out most of the wealth in the state, forced many businesses to leave the state or close altogether, and made RI the state that's the worst to do business in and the state with the 2nd highest unemployment rate.

Retirement systems should be fully funded by the employee and employer during their employment duration so that no additional funds are required to sustain that employee's retirement and benefits once that employee retires (this goes for public and private sector). If the system is too expensive, change the type of system, or decrease the benefit, it's pretty easy. The private sector figured this out decades ago. It's time we do the same thing with out public sector employees too. The taxpayers (many of whom are new younger taxpayers who weren't even alive when some of these sweetheart deals were signed) don't deserve to bear the consequences of the corrupt system that put us where we are today.

Comment #12 by Russ Hryzan on 2012 06 01

*bankrupt any entity (typo)

Comment #13 by Russ Hryzan on 2012 06 01

Instead of pulling unions down, non union people should be demanding unions and union type benefits and pulling themselves up....
You don't dummy down working conditions...you raise up and improve working conditions.
CEOs make huge profits that is reflected in the thousands with their salary and bonuses. Some of that exorbitant profit that they make, should be going to the worker who is the one allowing the profit to be made...Without the employed, there is no profit for management

Comment #14 by dis gusted on 2012 06 01

Excuse me "dis"...I'm proudly non-union and will never in my life ever join a "union" because I don't believe in what they stand for (equal pay for unequal work effort, demanding unreasonable benefits, etc). However, my comments are focused on unions that bargain with my government at my expense, not with private labor unions. My working conditions are top notch (and not in RI, I might add, because my company isn't insane enough to even think about setting up shop in this state), even before I reached managerial roles, my pay far surpassed what unionized counterparts would make, and here's the best part: I worked my butt off, I not only got to keep my job, but I got performance raises, promotions, and special recognition.

I've previously worked for a public school system in RI for over 7 years. Teachers who work their butts off get the same exact pay and benefits and recognition as the teachers who show up and do the bare minimum (or even less), and leave when the last bell rings. Why would I be stupid enough to want to work in a system like that? People who are hard workers and perform highly in their profession would never be insane enough to buy into the scam/legalized extortion gig that is a "labor union". My working conditions and salary in this day and age aren't thanks to the unions, they're thanks to my workplace's absence of unions. My company's pay-to-perform criteria incentivizes me to work my tail off in return for good pay increases and rapid advancement opportunities. Every employee should be evaluated based on performance. If you do the bare minimum (or less), you should be fired, period. If you choose not to participate in continuing training/education to advance yourself in your field, you don't deserve constant pay raises and promotions for continuing to do the same job. That's just common sense.

I feel I am well-taken care of (working for a private corporation), and the taxpayers certainly deserve far more that the "shaft" we've been getting for the last several decades. I have the right to not have my tax dollars be used for paying for people that aren't even working for my city and state, and to have them solely used for current services being provided and repayment of bonded indebtedness only. That's how private companies survive and stay afloat while controlling costs, and it's the same thing we need to do in our government.

Comment #15 by Russ Hryzan on 2012 06 01

Commenting is not available in this channel entry.