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Caprio on Chafee's Sales Tax Proposal

Yesterday Attorney General Patrick Lynch, Democratic candidate for governor, issued a sharp critique of Lincoln Chafee's proposal to expand the sales tax as a cure for the state's short-term fiscal woes. But his rival for the Democratic nomination, Treasurer Frank Caprio, stayed silent.

Today, in response to a N4N request for comment, Caprio criticized Chafee's idea, but in the more measured tones we're accustomed to seeing from him:

Frank Caprio is focused on helping the base of RI's economy; the middle class, by retaining and creating jobs, not raising taxes. Addressing the budget gap will be a top priority. We need to help small businesses create jobs, which would reduce the strain on the State's unemployment and put people back to work as active, tax paying members of the local economy.

This comports with Caprio's previous statements on tax policy. And it's certainly a safer position, politically, than Chafee's. The question is whether Caprio can put forth a credible plan for repairing the state's economy - something that will seem concrete or, at least, reassuring enough to pull voters away from Chafee's straight-talk approach (we've got a problem, and this is how we can solve it).

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