Business groups to protest Chafee sales tax plan


Dozens of trade associations and business groups are protesting RhodeĀ Island Gov. Lincoln Chafee’s proposal to broaden the sales tax.

The Greater Providence Chamber of Commerce is organizing the protest at the Statehouse Tuesday, a day before the House Finance Committee is scheduled to take up the proposal.

Chafee’s plan would cut some taxes by reducing the state’s 7 percent sales tax to 6 percent. But it would start taxing several items that are currently exempt at either 6 percent or 1 percent. The proposal would raise an estimated $165 million.

Chafee’s plan is one of several steps he’s proposed to close an estimated $331 million budget deficit.

The groups say it would hurt consumer, job creation and small business development.

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