PROVIDENCE, R.I. (WPRI) -- A pair of state lawmakers are seeking to help Rhode Island better compete with neighboring states with legislation aimed to lower the minimum corporate tax that businesses must pay.
Rep. James McLaughlin (D- Cumberland, Central Falls) and Sen. William Walaska (D- Warwick) are sponsoring a bill that would reduce the state's minimum corporate tax from $500 to $250.
"If this legislation is passed, it will give Rhode Island a strong competitive advantage over Massachusetts and other states," Rep. McLaughlin said in a statement. "Our smaller businesses are getting slammed with this $500 minimum and it's placing a barrier in front of potential start-ups. Rebuilding our fiscal health has been a slow process, and I'm hoping something like this will provide faster relief to the people in this state."
The announcement comes one day after local lawmakers expressed concern over Mass. Gov. Deval Patrick's plan to lessen the sales tax in his state, as addressed in his State of the State Address . The sales tax in Massachusetts is already lower than it is in Rhode Island.
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"Many of my constituents think the $500 minimum corporation tax is unfair, especially while the state is still in economic recovery," Senator Walaska said. "Looking at the big picture, it's also just another area in which Rhode Island is at a disadvantage compared to our neighboring states. We keep hearing that we're not business friendly. It's time we take more measures to rectify that."
Gov. Lincoln Chafee expressed interest in lowering the corporate tax rate in Rhode Island from 9 percent to 7 percent during his State of the State Address last week.
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