Over-the-counter drugs, sightseeing tours and digital downloads would be subject to Rhode Island’s sales tax under a new budget proposal.
The plan unveiled Friday by House lawmakers as part of a $7.7 billion state budget stops short of Gov. Lincoln Chafee’s recommendation to impose the tax on a long list of items and services now untaxed.
The House plan keeps the overall sales tax at 7 percent. Chafee recommended lowering it to 6 percent and adding a new 1 percent tax to other items.
“This year our goal was to not only balance the budget, but to put the state in a sounder financial footing for the future. This budget is a giant step in that direction. We have taken a balanced approach to solve this budget problem. It does differ from the governor’s approach, but we certainly took some of his recommendations.”
The proposal would give state workers their 3 percent raises instead of putting in their pension plans, as proposed by the governor.
The House proposal would make up the deficit with cuts in human services and charging a co-pay to participants in RIte Care.
Lawmakers have two weeks to pass a budget before the new fiscal year begins July 1.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.