RI Tax on Cabs Taxis and other revenue measures

I’m somewhat befuddled by the opposition to apply sales tax to taxi cabs, pet grooming and on clothing above $250. I’m a little unclear on that last, is it total sale over $250 or item price of $250 or more. I’ll have to ask the chair of the Finance committee.

But the taxi tax – here’s where my befuddlement arises:

When you rent a car, be it through Avis, Budget, Enterprise, ZipCar etc. you pay not only the 7% RI Sales Tax, and a rental surcharge of about 6%. So applying the 7% to taxis makes sense to me.

Of course I’d more support those taxes if they were used for the good of the public, but honestly it’s just going into the Rhode Island General Fund.

What I’d like to see the tax applied to is R&D into advanced energy storage. You know what I’m talking about here; the electric car with a 500 mile range and 15 minute recharge time, that’s what I want to see.

I was watching a video earlier from the Austalian Broadcasting Company’s Q&A Program (qanda). They had Richard Dawkins vs. Cardinal George Pell. Pell said something interesting – he says he’s not in the camp that global warming is man made.

I beg to differ with the Cardinal – multiply the millions of vehicles all over the world that burn gasoline and diesel and multiply miles traveled by times the amount of exhaust gas that contains CO2, benzene, and a number of byproducts of combustion. And that’s all getting pumped into the atmosphere.

So if we applied the tax in every state and applied it to r&d, we’d improve the environment and improve foreign relations. A twofer!

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