I’ve been meaning to suggest that this doesn’t look like such a great idea:
[Democrat Speaker of the House from Cranston Nicholas] Mattiello says the state’s recent increase in revenue will help.“Our revenues are on the rise,” he said. “They’re $40 or $50 million ahead of our projections just last year. The first year I was elected our revenues were dropping like a lead ball, hundreds of millions of dollars almost overnight, and now we’re getting that revenue back. So it’s that revenue that we get back that we’re going to dedicate to our taxpayers.”
I get that the car tax is an emotional issue for some people, although it has seemed to come under fire mostly for the unfairness of assessments. But tax policy should not be determined by emotion.
Other taxes have a more negative effect on jobs and the economy. That means not only that the state would be better off applying its tax-cutting motivation to other taxes, but also that replacing the car tax with other revenue, as Mattiello suggests above, is by itself a job-killing reform.
Additionally, shifting more decisions about tax revenue and the spending thereof to state government reduces the independence of local government, and to the contrary, that’s something of which we need more.