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NEW: Taxi Lobby Says Assembly is Taxing Wrong One Percent

Thursday, June 07, 2012


Taxi company owners continue to express outrage at the budget proposal that would raise taxes on cab rides.

The Taxi Cab Owners Association of Rhode Island released the following letter to members of the General Assembly:

"Today you will consider, among many difficult choices, the imposition of a new sales tax on Taxi Cabs. The proposed 7% tax attempts to balance the state budget on the backs of 198 licensed Rhode Island Cab drivers who earn, on average, a wage that places them below the poverty line. With all due respect, you are taxing the wrong 1%.


Because of the mechanics of this highly regulated industry the Taxi Cab drivers themselves will be paying a significant portion of this new tax out of their own pockets. We do not believe that this provision was intended to place such a large burden on such a small group of independent business owners - we can't imagine that it was drafted with all the facts in hand, because no one would do such a thing knowingly. However, we certainly hope that faced with the prospect this afternoon of approving this large new tax on 198 low income Rhode Islanders or approving an amendment that has been submitted to remove that provision, you will make the right choice and vote for the amendment.

"We understand that the hour is late, but ours is a small and struggling industry, and we do not have the resources to make our voices heard throughout the year at the Statehouse. We respectfully ask that you exercise the discretion that is in your hands today as you consider the many budget amendments before you and vote in favor of the one that would remove this untenable provision. And while it is hard to filter through all of the compelling cases you will hear, please consider the great inequity and injustice that will be perpetrated if the Taxi Tax provision remains in this budget.

"We have attached a fact sheet that lays out some of the vital information as to why this Taxi Tax is so damaging and who you would be forcing to fill this budget hole. We know that the money must come from somewhere, but we also know that you could not have intended to take it from so few who have so little, and we hope you will consider these facts before you vote."


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