Secretary of State Nellie Gorbea wants to raise Rhode Island’s corporate taxes if she becomes governor.
The Democrat launched her first TV campaign spot on Tuesday and said if elected, she would “raise taxes on big business so we can solve this housing crisis, extend pre-k to every child and reward small companies that create jobs here”.
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Taxes that Gorbea would increase
The announcement didn’t specify which taxes Gorbea would raise, or by how much, but in a follow-up email, his campaign said it would:
-Raise the state corporate tax rate from 7% to 8% to raise about $39 million a year. She added that 8% would be the Massachusetts corporate tax rate.
-Increase the tax on financial institutions from 9% to 10.5% to raise approximately $6 million.
-End “several exemptions in state law that benefit particular industries or businesses, including hedge funds and dividends received from stocks that benefit the wealthy few and shift the spending to Rhode Islanders ordinary”.
-And prevent corporations from using offshore tax havens to generate an estimated $43 million in additional annual tax revenue.
What other candidates think of a tax hike
His main Democratic rivals mainly attacked the idea.
“I think that takes us back to talking about raising taxes right now,” Gov. Dan McKee told The Journal at the State House on Tuesday. “I think we should be talking about lower taxes as long as we are able to manage the budget and run surpluses like I managed to do. Right now it’s a very risky strategy. … We we have to make sure that the companies that are here stay here.”
Former CVS executive Helena Foulkes called a corporate tax hike a “proposal to drive jobs out of Rhode Island.”
“If the next governor targets Rhode Island businesses with new taxes, the reality is that many will leave and take thousands of jobs with them,” she said. “We have enough trouble recruiting and retaining businesses in this state – that’s why we need a governor who understands the new economy.”
AJ Braverman, spokesman for former Secretary of State Matt Brown, said Gorbea’s plan would also raise taxes for some small businesses.
“That makes no sense,” Braverman wrote. “Small local businesses – many of which are struggling – should not face tax increases as giant corporations reap billions in profits,” he wrote in an email. “Matt supports a progressive corporate tax so giant corporations like Amazon and Walmart pay higher tax rates than our small businesses.”
Not all Democratic candidates are opposed to raising the corporate tax rate.
Luis Daniel Muñoz said he would raise the business rate to 7.5%, “which keeps us competitive with Massachusetts.”
But Muñoz said he would look at wealthy individuals as well as corporations and raise income taxes on the top 1%.
“Additional tax revenue can be used to make programmatic changes to how Rhode Island supports its micro businesses (1-9 employees), creating a tangible property tax exemption modeled on the tax phase-out on cars and changing the income tax law to apply only to operating micro-businesses,” Muñoz wrote in an email. “These policies will create greater economic opportunities for people looking to start their own business and help us to insure against future economic downturns by reducing our dependence on a small group of large companies for employment. .”
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A priority of the government of the time. Lincoln Chafee, Rhode Island, reduced its corporate tax rate from 9% to 7% in 2014 and paid for that reduction by requiring companies to include subsidiary profits in their income.
Republican gubernatorial candidate Ashley Kalus said the 7% business rate is “one of the only regionally competitive taxes our state offers,” and that she would not raise it.
“These kind of failed policies from career politicians like Nellie Gorbea have made Rhode Island the 46th worst state in the nation to do business in, and this decision will almost guarantee we’ll be last again,” Kalus wrote.
In his television commercial, Gorbea said, “Rhode Island and I are a lot alike. We’re small. We’re sometimes underestimated, but we’re full of hope and determination.”
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