PROVIDENCE — Governor Carcieri told a radio talk show audience yesterday that he would “love to find a way” to eliminate the state income tax.
But he stopped short of saying he will ask the General Assembly to eliminate a tax that provides a third of the state’s general revenue — more than $1.1 billion, at a time when the state is already struggling to pay its bills amid plunging tax receipts, a mounting deficit and the highest unemployment rate in the nation.
Asked in a later interview if what he said on radio — a week before Election Day — amounted to a pledge to seek repeal of the tax, Carcieri said: “No. It’s not going to happen in the year that begins January 1. OK? What I am trying to do is precipitate a conversation about tax policy... [because] we are where we are right now because of bad tax polic“We’ve made some changes,” he said in reference to recent moves to cap year-to-year property tax increases, reduce the state’s capital gains tax and provide a flat-tax option that cuts the income tax rate for the state’s wealthiest taxpayers. “But clearly they are not having an impact fast enough … We’ve got to do more dramatic things from a tax policy standpoint to hang out the sign that we’re open for business … because we’ve got to grow jobs.”