Posted on behalf of Warwick resident, Rob Cote.
"I am very disappointed that the governor of the state can put forth a video pertaining to the reduction of the car tax yet her comments are completely void of any fiscal specifics. Her words are meaningless to the residents, but more importantly to the tax assessors of the 39 cities and towns that as of this date, have no specifics of her plan, hence, they have no idea how her plan or any other proposal will effect their budgets in the coming fiscal year.
In the past she has mentioned the proposal that I have made for 6 years. That proposal is to simply move the assessment from the NADA "full clean retail" column to the "average trade in" column. She has stated that this will result in a 30% reduction, however, she is wrong. The reduction on average is approximately 16%. More importantly, given that formula, she still has not derived dollar amount of the reduction in taxes to be collected in each city and town, based on that number.
As of this date, none of the elected officials have put forth a proposal that has extrapolated the actual loss of revenue numbers for each municipality. The easiest short term solution is to increase the exemption to all 39 municipalities. Eight towns currently have the maximum exemption of $6000. To accomplish this the general assembly needs to know the following information on each municipality.
1. Number of vehicles in the city currently being taxed
2. Current tax revenue generated by car taxes in that town
3. Percentage of vehicles that would come off the tax roles predicated on an increased exemption.
4. Loss of revenue to the city that will have to be subsidized by the state
As an example I will use the actual numbers from Warwick
1. 109,000 vehicles taxed
2. $24,638,783.00 revenue
3. 28.9% of vehicles come off the tax roles with the exemption at $6000
4. Loss of revenue, $4 million
When the governor or the speaker can issue specifics on any proposal, I will assume that they are acting in good faith. Until such time, the lack of the simplest of fiscal specifics, suggest only continued political rhetoric and excuses to continue the failed policies of the State of Rhode Island.
One other point.
The governors latest state of the state address and her latest video suggests that all Rhode Islanders, this year, will see a 30% reduction in car taxes. Let me remind everyone that car taxes are retro active from the previous year of being registered, and that even if a bill was passed this year, no tax reduction would be realized until fiscal year 2018-19."