Chafee Proposes Sales Tax Cut, New Taxes In Budget Address

Rhode Island Gov. Lincoln Chafee proposed a cut in the state sales tax and $157 million in new taxes to deal with the budget deficit.

Chafee gave his first major budget address Tuesday night in front of the General Assembly since taking office in January.

ABC 6 carried the speech live.

The Governor proposed lowering the state's sales tax from 7 to 6 percent.

However, he also proposed new taxes on expensive clothing, home heating oil, haircuts and tickets to sporting events, among other things.

“Any talk of taxes is painful in a time of recession,” said Chafee.  “But we have to make our state solvent.”

The state faces a projected $295 million deficit for the fiscal year beginning July 1.

Senate and House leaders discussed his proposal with Chafee Monday.

Lawmakers will use Chafee's proposal as a starting point in their own budget deliberations.