When former Governor Lincoln Chafee decided not to seek re-election, Rhode Islanders looked forward to new leadership. Five months into the Governorship of Gina Raimondo, Rhode Islanders are scratching their heads wondering if anything has really changed. Rhode Island Republican Party Chairman Brandon S. Bell points out the following:
Governor Lincoln Chafee’s solutions to Rhode Island's problems included expanding the sales tax and putting in a new toll on the Sakonnet Bridge. Governor Gina Raimondo’s solutions include a new statewide property tax and a new tax on health care insurance bought by all individuals and small businesses to pay for Rhode Island’s Obamacare exchange, which costs more to operate than the DMV. Now, Governor Raimondo wants new tolls on about two dozen bridges. So much for Raimondo’s campaign pledge that: “we’re not going to … tax our way out” of our problems.
Chairman Bell further states: What is even worse is Governor Raimondo has sprung this new vague toll proposal at the very end of the legislative session. No one is sure how much the toll is, which bridges will have a toll, and who actually will be tolled. It is not even clear Raimondo knows or understands the details of her plan. In a recent WPRI 12 interview, she indicated that her tolls would only impact the “biggest trucks”. Yesterday, immediately before a House hearing, she changed her proposal to exempt some classes of trucks from these tolls. This total confusion is something we expected from Lincoln Chafee, now we need to expect this from Governor Raimondo.
Unfortunately, it looks like four more years of total confusion for Rhode Islanders.