Taxpayers Protection Alliance & RI Center for Freedom & Prosperity Release Spotlight on Spending Report

Michi Iljazi

April 2, 2014

Rhode Island State House (courtesy Wikimedia Commons)

Today, Taxpayers Protection Alliance President David Williams is in Rhode Island to highlight some of the costly ways that the state government has wasted taxpayer money over the last year. In a joint project with the Rhode Island Center for Freedom and Prosperity, TPA has produced the Spotlight on Spending Report showing some of the more dubious examples of government spending in Rhode Island. There will be a press conference at 3pm at the state house, here is the press release sent out earlier regarding this event.

For Immediate Release

April 2, 2014

RI Center for Freedom & Prosperity and Taxpayers Protection Alliance Release

Spotlight on Spending Report

(Providence, Rhode Island) – Today, the Rhode Island Center for Freedom and Prosperity (Center) and the Taxpayers Protection Alliance (TPA) will release Spotlight on Spending at a 3:00 pm press conference at the Rhode Island State House Rotunda in Providence. The publication sheds light on more than $220 million in questionable state spending in Rhode Island. The report clearly shows that rolling-back the sales tax to 3%, repealing estate tax, and repealing tolls on the Sakonnet River Bridge can be absorbed in the budget without cutting critical services, and still have $100 million left over to pay for other bridge and road repairs.

Spotlight on Spending exposes a litany of problems with state spending and identifies opportunities for lawmakers to be more prudent with taxpayer dollars, and also proposes solutions to ensure that future state spending remains in check.

Examples of questionable spending:

  • $775,000 in handouts to the Volvo Ocean Regatta in Newport;
  • $7,500 for tattoo removal training for employees at a beauty salon
  • $5,000 to teach employees at a company that makes ornamental business card holders how to use social media.

Examples of potential savings include:

  • $19.1 million by reducing the state’s outrageous overtime expenses.
  • $11.3 million by freezing all operating supplies and expenses to their enacted FY14 amount.
  • $5.5 million by reducing personnel in the governor’s office and General Assembly by 15%.

“Our report shows that major reforms are possible; it’s simply a question of setting spending priorities,” said Center CEO Mike Stenhouse. “The new House leadership team can send a strong early message that it will be serious about trimming pork spending so that much needed tax relief for Rhode Island families and businesses can happen. It is allowed.”

“Spotlight on Spending is just the starting point to eliminate waste, fraud, and abuse in Rhode Island” said TPA President David Williams. “The next step is for all these recommendations to be implemented and for all proposed tax increases to be stopped immediately.”

Click here to read Spotlight on Spending. The Rhode Island Center for Freedom and Prosperity, a nonpartisan public policy think tank, is the state’s leading free-enterprise research and advocacy organization.  The Taxpayers Protection Alliance is a non-profit non-partisan organization dedicated to educating the public through the research, analysis and dissemination of information on the government’s effects on the economy.

For more information visit www.rifreedom.org or www.protectingtaxpayers.org.

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About Taxpayers Protection Alliance

Taxpayers Protection Alliance (TPA) is a non-profit, non-partisan organization dedicated to educating the public through the research, analysis and dissemination of information on the government’s effects on the economy. For more information, please visit www.protectingtaxpayers.org.