Chafee signs state budget


Rhode Island Gov. Lincoln Chafee has signed an $8.1 billion state budget for the fiscal year beginning July 1 that boosts school funding and imposes new taxes on pet grooming, expensive clothing and taxi fares.

Chafee, an independent, signed the legislation into law on Friday.

The spending plan will impose the state’s 7 percent sales tax on pet grooming, taxi fares and items of clothing costing $250 or more. The new taxes go into effect in October.

It also authorizes tolls on the Sakonnet River Bridge and raises cigarette taxes.

Local schools will see more money under the proposal, which also restores some funds for the developmentally disabled that were cut last year.

Lawmakers adjourned the 2012 session on Wednesday, shortly after passing the budget.

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