Bob Plain is the editor/publisher of Rhode Island's Future. Previously, he's worked as a reporter for several different news organizations both in Rhode Island and across the country.

4 responses to “Tobon to Giarrusso: Your community isn’t better than mine, just richer”

  1. Deforest

    Someone tell Rep. Giarrusso that he’s living in a glass house and it’s not advisable to throw stones.

    Consultant issues dire warnings over East Greenwich deficit

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  2. leftyrite

    Representative Carlos Tobon did a fine job in making those statements.

    Want to know how resourceful lower income people are? Try to buy a good used car
    at a reasonable price.

    Hint: Good Luck.

    Keep going, Carlos. You “represent” well.

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  3. Barry Schiller

    While Tobon rightfully defended his community against the nasty jibe from Giarrusso, he and others defending the elimination of the car tax are not defending the sizable minority in poorer communities that have no car at all (about 17% of Pawtucket households last I saw) and get no tax break at all from the $220 million giveaway to car owners and risk losing services from the huge reduction in state resources. If we really had $220 million for tax reduction why not reduce the sales tax from 7 to 5.5%, that way everybody would benefit, not just mostly those with many and/or expensive cars, and undercut the MA sales tax so as to redirect some retail here? Or use it lower the property tax for all including tenants who pay it thru the rents?
    At the hearing it should be noted that RIF contributor James Kennedy of was a hero in resisting the Mattiello machine and defending the environment and the true interests of the poor by opposing the “Jaguar tax relief” proposal. Also, it was reported the ACLU supported the car tax elimination, apparently believing in your constitution right to drive on local roads without having to pay for paving, repairing, lighting, patrolling, signing, and removing snow on them!

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  4. transportprovidence

    Yeah, Barry’s right, as usual. Tobon was right to snap back at Giarusso, but the real story here wasn’t hashing out whatever E.G. rudeness, it’s the fact that much of the committee seems content to ignore Doug Hall’s pleas from EPI that this is a bad policy from the poor.

    I honestly find liberal blindness on this issue especially infuriating, because it seems to flow from whatever backward Rhode Island Dem DNA that says that that which is environmental can’t be social justice, and that which is social justice can’t be environmental. Mattiello’s bill is disatrous for our environment, but it’s also a full frontal assault on poor people and lower-middle-class people. Reps don’t seem to understand that the the $100 or few $100 that a poorer person might get back (if they own a car) is overshadowed by the much larger loss of services that will pinch people. The real beneficiaries are people with expensive cars. And even raising the exemption is dumb– it’s dumb!– because what that means is that pro-poor policy begins and ends at making cars (marginally) more affordable, and ignores policies for people who never could afford a car, or people who struggle to own (a) car(s) but want to own one fewer. It’s going to disproportionately cut services to the same people who don’t own cars– but we could quintuple RIPTA state aid AND pass free 2-year college for less than this bill.

    Infuriating.. A POX ON BOTH YOUR HOUSES infuriating, because the math is clear and unequivocal. And verbal slights from rude E.G. reps may be sexy, but this bill is going to ride roughshod over the powerless in ways those comments never could– because of Tobon and other “progressives”.

    In the Senate hearing on this (the article above is about the House, but I testified at both), the RIPEC folks admitted openly this is the largest tax cut the state has considered in years, and if it passes it’s going to decimate the state budget, decimate our climate (you can try passing a carbon tax but this spends three times as much subsidizing driving as the most ambitious RI bill would consider taxing carbon). And who will benefit is Jaguar owners.

    Any “progressive” who votes for this should be primaried.

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