Governor's priorities in play as House leaders finalize budget
General Assembly leaders are hours from unveiling — and calling for immediate votes — on their previously unseen version of the $9.3-billion budget that Gov. Gina Raimondo proposed in January.
PROVIDENCE, R.I. — General Assembly leaders are hours from unveiling — and calling for immediate votes — on their previously unseen version of the $9.3-billion budget that Gov. Gina Raimondo proposed in January.
Here’s one certainty: the budget bill that emerges from the House Finance Committee at some point on Friday night, or early Saturday morning, will give motor-vehicles owners a second shot of tax relief from the car-tax phaseout that House Speaker Nicholas Mattiello championed on the 2016 campaign trail, and state lawmakers approved last year.
The budget bill will provide cities and towns with about $54.7 million as compensation for raising the exemption from their local motor-vehicle taxes, from $1,000 of vehicle value to $2,000. Moving into the second year of this phase-out, the budget also caps the potential motor-vehicle tax rates a community can charge at $50 per $1,000 of value, and exempts cars 15 years and older.
But watch for the fate of these Raimondo proposals, after months of legislative hearings and boisterous rallies:
Gambling: Raimondo booked $23.5 million in new state revenue by allowing people to place bets on collegiate and professional athletic competitions. While the lawmakers are expected to go along, it remains unclear how much detail they will build into the legislation on the splits with casino owners, technology providers and sports leagues.
Diving even further into the casino world, the budget Raimondo proposed five months ago anticipated the introduction of so-called “stadium gaming,” which involves multiple players competing in front of large video screens, at Twin River’s casinos, bringing the state an additional $4.1 million in state revenue.
Since then, Twin River