Now is the time to eliminate car tax


The car tax is a stone in everyone’s shoe. No matter how much one makes, no matter what model car one drives, no matter where one lives – taxpayers despise the car tax.

Every year municipalities reach deep into taxpayer’s pockets and charge a significant amount of taxes on the depreciating value of their motor vehicles. Amazingly, the taxes on these depreciating assets never seem to go down.

Rhode Island ranks in the bottom fifth of states in nearly every national study of property tax burden. This burden affects the quality of life of our residents and our status as an outlier deters business investment. We can address our local property tax structure, beginning with the elimination of the car tax, if we proceed with urgency and focus.

Three years ago, Rhode Island had the highest corporate income tax in New England. We were a regional outlier and businesses were fleeing our state – never mind looking to relocate here. We acted decisively and reduced our corporate income tax rate to the lowest in New England.

The business community took notice. Fortune 500 companies, such as General Electric, have made sizable investments in our economy and workforce. Small businesses have also reinvested in their companies, which has stabilized our local economy.

We have also worked to provide meaningful tax relief for Cranston and Rhode Island residents. We eliminated the income tax on Social Security benefits for most retirees. We expanded the Earned Income Tax Credit to increase tax refunds for working families. We raised the estate tax exemption so small business owners could afford to leave their family business to their children.

Instead of resting on our laurels, we must continue to reform other burdensome taxes. The current car tax system is beyond repair: cars are overvalued, rates vary significantly between communities, and, unlike car payments, the tax never ends. We can eliminate the car tax within five years if we make it a priority. I have no doubt that we will be successful in our efforts to reduce the car tax, just as we have been successful in our other efforts to reform taxes.

Nicholas A. Mattiello, a Democrat, is the speaker of the Rhode Island House of Representatives. He represents District 15 in Cranston.


5 comments on this story | Please log in to comment by clicking here
Please log in or register to add your comment

YES, YES! YES! We're being taxed to death! Stop the insanity!

Thursday, October 13, 2016

Amen author. You should run for the General Assembly. We need leaders like you to do the right thing! Get rid of the dead wood that infests Smith Hill. Be brave and.......

Friday, October 14, 2016

Just, that was great!

Friday, October 14, 2016

So unless we are cutting spending by the same dollars, eliminating the car tax means we are increasing other taxes. I don't like taxes any more than the next person, but I have to say, a car tax seems to make more sense than some other taxes. When someone drives on the roads, there is a real government cost associated with that. When they buy a book in the bookstore or make a little more money working overtime, there is really no government cost. But if we get rid of the car tax, we would have to increase things like sales tax and income tax to make up for it. In the end it's all the same money coming out of our pockets. I'm not so sure the car tax is the worst tax out there, and it's not necessarily saving us any money by eliminating it. Well, maybe the person with a lot of cars saves money. But are we really concerned about that person? How about taxing boats instead of cars?

Tuesday, October 18, 2016

Thank you Captain Obvious, speaker MAtty...You are an idiot. Are you and Berwick related? While you are at it, why not "free healthcare, education, food for whoever wants it", but don't raise our taxes at all...No identified revenue stream to replace the taxes, just pie in the sky. Are you tone deaf? Don't you recall what happened the last time this was tried? The cities and towns fearing major revenue losses simply raised the valuations on the tangible taxes for car owners...that became the revenue offset...So much for saving taxpayers dough...Election year nonsense.

Speaking of OPM, Other than the bond issue for the veterans home, every other bond issue spending more money should be shot down. A deal is not a deal when you can't afford it and this State is broke. No wonder why your constituents are seeking a change...

Wednesday, October 19, 2016