Two of Governor’s tax proposals drawing fierce criticism

PROVIDENCE, R.I. (WPRI) — Some tax proposals by Governor Gina Raimondo during Tuesday’s State of the State address are drawing fierce criticism.

During her address, the Governor unveiled her plan to make the Ocean State more business friendly while facing a budget deficit.

This means one major thing: taxes.

Two tax proposals being particularly opposed are:

  1. A $0.25 hike on cigarettes, raising the total tax to nearly $4 per pack
  2. Fees on medical marijuana plants, including $150 for patients who grow at home and $350 for caregivers who grow for up to five patients

“I was so offended when I saw the front page that says, ‘jobs, jobs, jobs,’ and then the number two bullet is to tax people who are growing a plant of marijuana,” said Medical Marijuana Patient Polly Reynolds.

Regulate Rhode Island Director Jared Moffat also disagrees with the tax proposal.

“There’s a huge revenue base there for people who use marijuana as a recreational substance, who prefer it over alcohol — But there’s no need to tax people who desperately need it for their health condition, who need it as a medicine,” said Moffat.

Meanwhile, business leaders are praising the Governor’s proposed rate reduction on the unemployment insurance tax.

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