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Legislators propose tax, farm bills

January 24, 2012

Rep. Larry Valencia (D-39).

The 2012 General Assembly session is under way, and local law makers are looking to make a positive impact by introducing some new, and some familiar legislation.

Rep. Larry Valencia (D - 39, Richmond, Hopkinton, Exeter), will be re-introducing two bills that he worked on last year. One of them is for the formation of an independent Inspector General’s Office, and the other is a marginal tax increase to the state’s top earners.

The tax bill would impose a 4.1 percent tax on income above $200,000 per year for an individual person, and $250,000 per year for a married couple. Valencia said the reason for that amount was because it was reflective of the federal tax cut passed by the Bush Administration for those individuals.

The representative pointed out that there was something he could do this year to help the bill that he did not do last year when it was first introduced. He is going to make an effort to bring attention to what the additional state revenue could be used for, things like helping out the struggling municipalities, removing or reducing the state car tax and freezing tuition at state schools.

“There’s a lot of good things you could do with that money,” Valencia said.

One of the recommendations he had for the money, the reduction or removal of the car tax, is something that he said the entire General Assembly as a whole is concerned about.

“People find it painful and regressive to pay a tax bill on a really old car,” he said.

Valencia said that he has received a fair amount of support for that bill from other representatives, and will have it heard in the finance committee, of which he is a part of, but doesn’t think he will have enough support from the committee to have the bill move forward.

“I don’t see many republicans signing that one,” he said.

The finance committee, he added, will have its hands full this session, and will be putting most of its energy towards attempting to fix a $130 million structural deficit.

Valencia is hopeful, however, for the other bill he will be re-introducing this session, the one that promotes the formation of an independent Inspector General’s Office.

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Southern Rhode Island Newspapers
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