STATE HOUSE – The General Assembly has passed legislation sponsored by President of the Senate Dominick J. Ruggerio to require the Department of Revenue to file annual reports and recommendations on the feasibility of the car tax phase-out. The legislation was introduced as part of an agreement between the Senate President and House Speaker in July enabling the enactment of a state budget while also addressing concerns of the Senate about the affordability and sustainability of the phase-out.
“I want to ensure that we legislators are able to keep the promises we are making to our constituents,” said President Ruggerio. “I fully support elimination of the car tax. I represent two communities with among the highest car tax rates in the state, and I recognize how onerous the car tax is, particularly in my community. However, the Senate is concerned about a projected $300 million deficit in 2024, the final year of the phase-out, and that’s without considering any cuts to federal funding from Washington.”
He continued, “I am grateful to Speaker Mattiello for his willingness to work through our differences. The required review by the Department of Revenue provides a compromise acceptable to the Senate. While immediate car tax relief has been made available through the state budget, the study will provide the serious analysis needed to examine its continued feasibility, particularly in the out years.”
The legislation (2017-S 1011A) calls for annual reports beginning on January 1, 2021 until the phase-out is complete. It will now be sent to Governor Raimondo for her consideration. The bill was co-sponsored by Senate Majority Leader Michael J. McCaffrey (D – Dist. 29, Warwick), Senate Majority Whip Maryellen Goodwin (D – Dist. 1, Providence), Senate Finance Committee Chairman William J. Conley, Jr. (D – Dist. 18, East Providence, Pawtucket), and Senate Judiciary Committee Chairwoman Erin Lynch Prata (D – Dist. 31, Warwick, Cranston).
For more information, contact:
Greg Pare, Press Secretary for the Senate
State House Room 314
Providence, RI 02903