Wednesday, August 9, 2006


Normally I try not to get too political, in fact, Dad29 even commended me for it.

"...but they've never sunk so low as to get into politics."

But, after reading this post from the Dadmeister, and this post from the Catholic Caveman, I just had to sink that low and put my two cents in on this.

Rhode Island, in terms of land area, may be the smallest state, but...

Rhode Island has the HIGHEST state cigarette tax in the country (source), and one of only five states with a smoke tax of $2 or more per pack. Yes, of the $5-6 you pay for a pack of smokes, $2.46 per pack is state tax, and to boot, you still have to pay the 7% sales tax. So now, you are double taxed. I may no longer smoke, but I still feel the tax is horrendous.

Rhode Island has the HIGHEST state gasoline tax in the country, somewhere along the line of 31.x cents a gallon. It kinda surprises me that Connecticut's gas price is about 20 cents a gallon higher than Rhode Island.

At 7%, Rhode Island may not have the highest sales tax in the nation (only California is higher as of 1/1/06 - source), but we are the highest in New England (Maine and Connecticut are at 6%, Massachusetts and Vermont are at 5%, and New Hampshire has NO sales tax).

Reading enough classifieds lead me to conclude that the house in Rhode Island that is valued at $250K for tax purposes (and sold for $350K just to make some money) can be BOUGHT easily by the average joe consumer in other states like Missouri and Maine for $120K or less. A typical property tax rate in a city or town in Rhode Island is about $25 per thousand at 100% valuation. A typical annual tax bill for a normal down-to-earth house on a normal down-to-earth tract of land is upwards of three grand.

We complain about "Taxachusetts", but not only is Massachusetts' sales tax 2% cheaper than Rhode Island, but Massachusetts is having a sales tax holiday this weekend. In other words, this weekend, any purchase up to $2500 is TAX FREE in Massachusetts. The idea of a sales tax holiday was brought up in Rhode Island. What do our greedy politicians do? Shoot the idea down, of course!

You want to talk about tax corruption, look no further than our little pathetic state!



rhapsody said...

I confess, I do feel strongly about this.

I smoked for many years. As a kid I knew as an adult I would be a smoker. It was a psychological addiction before it became a physiological one.

I wish smoking was banned altogether. The farmers can grow something else- food, for instance.
It is an abused, unnecessary substance- & it's illegal to smoke just about anywhere anyway. The taxes have been increasing, while the places a person can smoke a cigarette are decreasing.

I understand the addiction- but it is a dependence on a drug that lies to us that we're feeling good, while it's actually killing us.

Just my opine...

rhapsody said...

Has the comment registered, or is my computer glitching-

It's saying that you don't have any comments for this post- now this one will make two...


Brian Michael Page said...

Yup - it did. Lately the comments will post, but the number won't show up until about 15 minutes later. Stupid Blogger tricks.

Dad29 said...

Look, Wisconsin takes a back seat to only FIVE other States in the Union in terms of overall (income, property, sales) tax bite.

In effect, Wisconsin taxes at about 110% of the national average. Making it interesting, Wisconsin's average wages are only about 90% of the national average.

Here, we understand pain.

You guys are pikers.

RC said...

Alas, the two states with the highest proportion of Catholics, RI and MA (65% and 50% respectively), are also states marked with high taxes, government waste, and corruption. Not that I'm bitter or anything.

Anonymous said...

Let's try this again, for some reason, as I was typing up my comment, it disappeared into cyberspace!

I used to live in MA, with its 5% tax. IIRC, clothes, newspapers and food were tax-free. And NH was just an easy 1 hr drive north. (Well, where I lived (Worcester), Boston, Providence, Hartford, etc. was an easy 1 hr drive away.)

Imagine my shock when I moved to NC and learnt that everything, including food was subject to tax! NC tax is 7%, food bought in the supermarket is assessed a 2% tax.

I feel like I'm being taxed way more here than I ever did in MA. I have to pay taxes for a Rabies Licence for my cat. I have to pay taxes on the car 6 months before I renew the licence plate (or "tag" as they call it down here). I know there are other taxes I'm paying, but I don't recall them all at the moment.

So I feel like NC can replace Taxachusetts as being more noxious as far as tax assessments are concerned.