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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.


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