House Finance Committee passes Rhode Island budget

PROVIDENCE, R.I. (WLNE) — The House Finance Committee passed the state budget Friday night.

Earlier on Friday, Gov. Dan McKee, Speaker Joseph Shekarchi, and Senate President Dominick Ruggerio highlighted what they believe are key parts of the $14 billion spending plan.

It took 45 minutes for the Finance Committee to pass the budget, 13 to 3.

Shekarchi touted the spending package that includes tax relief for business owners and projects to propel affordable housing in the state.

“It is very much a good budget, and something I’m proud of, it has house priorities, it has some senate priorities, it has some governor priorities, nobody got everything they wanted,” Shekarchi said.

The budget will reflect the times we are in, Shekarchi said the state’s revenue has fallen off $61 million since their initial look back in November 2022.

During the finance committee meeting, housing was a big topic discussed with lawmakers noting McKee made it a big priority in the budget.

“The article creates the Rhode Island housing subsidiary, and provides some money to have a staff for a new proactive housing development subsidiary, it establishes the state income low tax credit, as a reminder this is the availability of 30 million dollars per year to give out tax credits for projects that already get the federal low income tax credit.”

In addition to that, the budget also includes helping out local businesses  with tax relief, specifically, tangible tax.

“There’s a proposal for a tangible tax exemption exemption of 50,000 from the tangible property tax, that’s collected at the municipal level so just as a reminder, the state does not collect this tax, the local communities do.”

That tax exemption begin January 2024, with $28 million set aside to reimburse those municipalities. The tangible tax exemption is something the senate president said will help businesses in Rhode Island.

“Its a burdensome tax on businesses. I think that it will provide relief for about 75 percent of business in the state of Rhode Island, I think what businesses have gone through in the past couple years, fighting to stay alive, outside dining, things of that nature, that will help them,” said Ruggiero.

The budget will now be looked over for seven days before heading to the House floor for debate.

Categories: News, Rhode Island