Rhode Island Gov. Lincoln Chafee is continuing a public relations blitz to build support for his call to expand the state sales tax.
Chafee, an independent, met with some of his sharpest critics Friday during a visit with the Greater Providence Chamber of Commerce board. Chafee told chamber leaders that imposing the tax on items and goods now exempt will raise money to address long-term problems of education funding, highway debt and pensions.
The chamber led protests against Chafee’s plan, which has also run into opposition in the General Assembly.
Chafee addressed business leaders in Newport on Thursday. He said he wants to explain why new taxes now will save tax dollars in the future.
Rhode Island faces a projected $331 million deficit. Chafee’s plan would raise $165 million.