COGD Comes for Rhode Island
Rhode Island “celebrates” their Cost of Government Day one day after the national average on July 15. Cost of Government Day measures the number of calendar days the average American must work to pay off his/her share of spending and regulatory burdens on all levels of government: federal, state and local. Rhode Islanders must work 198 days out of the year to pay for the cost of government, leaving just 168 days to work to provide for their own families.
Rhode Island has the 5th highest state and local tax rate in the nation at 10.7 percent. This year residents experienced an increase in their taxes by $591.08 for every man, woman and child, making 2012 the fifth consecutive year in which residents of the state have seen an increase in their taxes. Over the last decade, this equates to an increase of $3,379.71 in taxes for each individual in the state.
Governor Chafee signed into law the FY2013 $8.1 billion budget, increasing state spending by $400 million. Disregarding warnings from the Rhode Island Center for Freedom and Prosperity and Americans for Tax Reform, Chafee proposed multiple tax increases in his budget plan. Though legislators rejected half of his proposals, several were still passed, including a cigarette tax increase and expansion of the state’s 7 percent sales tax to livery services, pet grooming services and designer clothing.
This tax increase is one of the reasons Rhode Island continues to celebrate its COGD after the national average. Unless the state reins in its overspending, it will continue to work later into the year to pay for the growing size of its government.