Cranston Designated as Distressed Community Largely Due to Fung’s Tax Hikes

 

PROVIDENCE, RI – In 10 years as mayor, Allan Fung has raised property and car taxes six times. The car tax in his city is the fifth highest in Rhode Island.

In contrast, Governor Raimondo has cut taxes to make it easier for small businesses and entrepreneurs to expand, and she worked with the General Assembly to cut the tax, giving middle class families much deserved relief. Because of her efforts, the average Rhode Islander’s car tax bill has been cut by more than 20 percent.

 

“Allan Fung says he’s going to lower taxes, but since he’s been mayor, he’s raised taxes – including the car tax – six times. He’s the only candidate for Governor with a consistent record of raising taxes,” said Raimondo Campaign Senior Advisor Mike Raia. “Governor Raimondo’s cut the car tax, cut corporate taxes to support small businesses, eliminated the tax on social security income, eliminated the sales tax on energy, and cut the unemployment insurance tax so local employers can invest more money in new employees, new equipment and new business.”

“Gina has increased investments in education, infrastructure, job training and economic development without ever raising a broad-based tax,” Raia continued. “Under Allan Fung’s failed leadership, Cranston is once again a distressed community and the residents of his city pay some of the highest taxes in the state. Middle class families and small business owners can’t trust Mayor Fung to provide the relief they need.”

 

Earlier this week, Governor Raimondo was recognized by the Tax Foundation for her work to cut the car tax and reduce the unemployment insurance tax. Without ever raising a single broad-based tax, Raimondo has made record investments in K-12 education and job training, and made Rhode Island only the fourth state in America to offer tuition-free access to community college.

 

Key Facts on Rhode Island Taxes:

 

Governor Raimondo Cut The Car Tax: This year, Governor Raimondo signed a budget that continued the second year of the car tax phase out. [Providence Journal, 6/22/18]

 

Governor Raimondo Cut the Unemployment Insurance Tax Two Years in a Row: According to a press release from the Office of the Governor, “Governor Gina M. Raimondo announced today that the Rhode Island Department of Labor and Training will lower unemployment insurance tax rates again next year, saving Rhode Island employers an additional $10 million. This is the second consecutive year unemployment insurance rates have declined.” [RI Office of the Governor, Press Release, 12/6/17]

 

Governor Raimondo Cut the Corporate Minimum Tax and the Tax on Social Security Income: According to WPRI.com, Governor Raimondo signed a budget in 2015 that “creates a suite of new economic-development programs […]; adds a tax exemption for Social Security benefits; removes sales taxes on energy for business; […]; reduces Medicaid spending; boosts education funding; lowers the minimum corporate tax from $500 to $450.” [WPRI.com, 6/30/15]

 

During Her Time as Governor, Raimondo Has Never Raised a Broad-Based Tax:

  • In 2018, the FY 2019 budget did not raise broad-based taxes. [RI Office of the Governor, Press Release, 6/22/18]

  • In 2017, the governor signed a budget that did not include any broad-based tax hikes. [RI General Assembly, Press Release, 8/3/17]

  • In 2016, Gov. Raimondo signed a FY 2017 budget that did not include a broad-based tax increase. [RI General Assembly, Press Release, 6/24/16]

  • In 2015, the budget bill passed by the General Assembly and signed by Gov. Raimondo did not include a broad-based tax increase. [RI General Assembly, Press Release, 6/23/15]

 

Mayor Fung Raised Taxes Six Times As Mayor:

  • In 2009, Mayor Fung’s proposed budget included a (1) property tax increase for FY 2010. [Providence Journal, 4/1/09]

  • In 2010, Mayor Fung (2) proposed a supplemental car tax and a (3) FY 2011 budget with a property tax increase. [The Providence Journal, 4/2/10; Providence Journal, 6/16/10]

  • In 2011, Mayor Fung’s proposed FY 2012 budget included a (4) property tax increase. [Providence Journal, 4/1/11]

  • In 2015, Mayor Fung’s proposed FY 2016 budget included a (5) property tax increase. [Cranston Patch, 4/1/15]

  • In 2017, Mayor Fung’s proposed FY 2018 budget included a (6) property tax increase. [Cranston Herald, 5/5/17]

 

Cranston’s Car Tax was the Fifth-Highest Car Tax in Rhode Island: According to the municipal tax rates for FY 2018, Cranston had the fifth-highest car tax in the state. [RI Municipal Tax Rates, FY 2018, 12/31/16]

 

Under Mayor Allan Fung, Cranston is a Distressed Community: According to the State of Rhode Island Department of Revenue fiscal year reports on state aid, Cranston received money from the Distressed Communities Relief Fund in fiscal years 2013, 2014, 2015, 2017, 2018, and 2019. [State of Rhode Island, Division of Municipal Finance, 2000-2018]