’10 News Conference’: RI needs to improve tax climate

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The NBC 10 I-Team reported that nearly one in 10 state, municipal or teacher retirees leave Rhode Island.

Many retirees leave for states that have no income tax.

There’s certainly nothing illegal or wrong about retirees leaving the state.

In fact, Gary Sasse, former director of the Rhode Island Public Expenditure Council and current Bryant University professor, said how can you blame anyone for leaving the state once they retire.

“It’s taxes, certainly weather, but taxes – estate tax, income tax, and property taxes. Our property taxes are the fifth highest in the country,” Sasse said Friday during a taping of NBC 10’s 10 News Conference.

Ken Block, founder of the Moderate Party, echoed Sasse’s comments.

“If you make yourself a more inviting place, not just for pensioners, you solve the problem all up and down the line,” he said.

Both said if Rhode Island had a more favorable tax climate, including property taxes, maybe more private sector and state employee retirees would stay in the state.

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