PROVIDENCE, R.I. (WPRI) — Two state lawmakers are proposing to raise taxes on Rhode Island’s highest earners.
Sen. William Conley and Rep. Karen Alzate unveiled new legislation Tuesday that would create a new tax bracket for those whose income is higher than $475,000.
Under the proposed legislation, the new bracket would tax between 5.99% to 8.99% on adjusted gross income above $475,000, which is an estimated 3% increase.
The lawmakers argue that, by increasing taxes for the top 1% of filers (roughly 5,000 Rhode Islanders), the state would raise more than $128 million in revenue.
“This is a reasonable proposal that asks the wealthiest among us to pay a small percentage more while having no impact on anyone making less than $475,000 a year,” Conley explained.
The lawmakers said the additional revenue could help fund programs and services for Rhode Islanders, like infrastructure improvements and public education.
“With this modest revenue proposal, our state will have the funds to properly support our citizens and our infrastructure, establishing Rhode Island on firm footing for future success,” Alzate said.
“By bringing that equity to our tax structure, we bring tax relief to 99% of the taxpayers in the state of Rhode Island,” Conley added.
House Speaker Nicholas Mattiello tells Eyewitness News the proposed legislation will be carefully vetted.
“We will consider the proposal during the committee process,” he said in a statement. “But my position has been that we need to remain competitive with neighboring states so high-wage earners don’t leave Rhode Island.”