There’s an old adage that annihilation is abiding but afterlife and taxes. Rhode Island has taken that one footfall added — by demanding its citizens in death. That’s appropriate — Gov. Gina Raimondo has sneaked an commodity into the accompaniment account to accession $200,000. It makes the arrears arise ever-so-slightly less.
But area did she get the money? Shockingly, she purloined from burying directors, who are now affected to aggregate it from the afflicted families who appear to them for abundance and to acquisition a dignified, admiring way to coffin their deceased.
As usual, Raimondo has counterbalanced abstracts on the backs of Rhode Islanders. This time, however, it’s the Rhode Islanders fabricated accessible by affliction that she’s targeted by demanding burying items that were never burdened afore — urns, adoration cards, etc.
Raimondo couldn’t alike be upfront about this action, and accession it as legislation. No accord and booty on this affair for her. Instead, she slunk in and had this agreement active in the budget. Now, instead of abating some of the accountability from the amateur of those afflicted the accident of a admired spouse, sibling, ancestor or friend, burying admiral accept to nickel-and-dime them by charging tax on their urns and adoration cards.
To accomplish affairs worse, burying admiral are actuality audited and told that they accept to pay years of aback taxes on these items — although it was not a agreement until this budget.
As a legislator, I was afraid as I apparent this. Consequently, during this year’s aldermanic session, I alien H-8314 to absolved items like urns and adoration cards. Keep in apperception that coffins, caskets and burying apparel are already exempt.
I was encouraged because a Senate adaptation of the bill anesthetized afterwards issue. Yet, accurate to form, House Speaker Nicholas Mattiello blocked my legislation — it was not alike accustomed to be brought afore the House for a vote. Same old story: an accidental tax accountability that could calmly be aerial off of Rhode Islanders but still charcoal because of accessory gridlock.
In a affair with some burying admiral and admiral from the Rhode Island Department of Revenue, we agreed to authority a affair on Sept. 25 to advice brainwash burying admiral and their accountants on what was accepted of them. However, a few canicule afterwards we were told no affair would booty abode until backward November or aboriginal December.
I was afraid — no time for a legislator, his capacity and added associates of this group? Then I accomplished the irony and apprehend amid the lines: no time until afterwards Election Day.
This “business as usual” actually has to end! Accompaniment adopted admiral accept to apprehend that they are not adopted to do what is best for themselves. They are adopted to represent the bodies of their district.
And really, to lay a tax at the anxiety of those grieving, those who absolutely are in no anatomy of apperception to action off tax vultures — can Rhode Island bore any lower?
Robert Lancia, of Cranston, is a Republican accompaniment representative.
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