Governor Lincoln D. Chafee met this afternoon with a number of Woonsocket small business owners whose businesses would see direct benefits from the passage of the Governor's proposed FY2012 budget.
"I am glad to be here in Woonsocket to discuss how my proposed budget will help the backbone of Rhode Island -- our small business community," Governor Chafee said. "If the General Assembly passes my budget into law, more than 28,000 small business owners will immediately benefit through a reduction in the minimum corporate tax."
"Additionally, businesses and consumers across the state will benefit from a reduction in the sales tax rate from 7% to 6%," the Governor continued. "This is particularly significant in cities and towns such as Woonsocket that are close to the Massachusetts border. No longer will our shoppers travel to Massachusetts to avoid paying Rhode Island sales tax, and in fact we'll be attracting Massachusetts shoppers to come to Rhode Island to make their purchases. This is all part of an effort to make Rhode Island a more appealing place to do business."
In his proposed FY2012 budget, Governor Chafee has included a number of policies that will establish a fair and competitive corporate tax structure and will encourage a climate of economic growth and job creation in Rhode Island. The Governor has proposed lowering the sales tax rate from 7% to 6%, which would make Rhode Island's rate lower than that of Massachusetts and even with that of Connecticut. The Governor has also proposed lowering the corporate minimum tax from $500 to $250 for businesses with Rhode Island gross receipts less than $1 million. This would positively impact more than 28,000 small businesses across the state.
"I was pleased to join Governor Chafee and Mayor Fontaine today to hear firsthand from small businesses, which are the bedrock of our economy, and discuss how they will benefit from the Governor's budget proposals," Rhode Island Economic Development Corporation Executive Director Keith Stokes said. "A fair and competitive tax structure, which includes significant reductions in business taxes, will help "Main Street' businesses grow and succeed by putting more money in their pocket and creating a more level playing field in a competitive New England economy."
Governor Chafee was joined by Stokes and Woonsocket Mayor Leo Fontaine on his visit to three local businesses: Olly's Pizza, one of the town's oldest and most popular pizzerias; the Honan Block Building, which houses the jewelry studio of building owners Chris and Hannah Garrison, who are struggling to find a tenant for their vacant first floor; and the Art Center.