Advocates question "hidden tax expenditures"

Why is that callers to talk-radio in Rhode Island are invariably quick to condemn "deadbeats" and "freebies," yet they never mention how various US corporations are the beneficiaries of millions of dollars in corporate welfare, much of it related to the ongoing misadventure in Iraq?

Which of these has the larger impact on the typical US taxpayer? 

But I digress.

Whenever someone from the Poverty Institute or a like-minded liberal suggests raising a tax, they invariably receive a swift rebuke from one of my conservative friends at Anchor Rising. Today, at 4:30 at the State House, the Campaign for Rhode Island's Priorities plans to challenge another part of the tax equation:

Allies in the Campaign for Rhode Island’s Priorities will hold a press conference Thursday to demand that the Governor implement the Office of Revenue Analysis in order to “take the mask off” Rhode Island’s hidden tax expenditure budget. Tax expenditures are tax credits, exemptions and preferential treatment provided some individuals and corporations that result in forgone revenue to the state.  In the 2006 Tax Expenditure report the Division of Taxation claimed they were unable to estimate the cost of 60% of tax expenditures. The General Assembly funded the new office in the current budget, but it has yet to be established.


Karen Malcolm, Executive Director of Ocean State Action and the campaign’s coordinator states, “Improving our analysis of tax expenditures is the responsible thing to do in light of the state’s current fiscal crisis. Special tax treatments cost millions in lost revenue in return for promised trade offs of new jobs, housing or other benefits.  But there is no ongoing analysis of costs or of outcomes. We must examine these indirect spending programs to make sure we are not needlessly sacrificing other public programs that are proven to help Rhode Islanders work, learn and stay well.”

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