In the last week, three state tax incentive packages were approved, two for companies that were either adding or creating jobs in Rhode Island and one for a group developing a mixed-use project.
The cost for these projects could eventually add up to $9.1 million, a cost the state would see only in lost revenue in the future, after all the conditions of the programs are met, not as a cash outlay upfront.
Despite the commitments these companies are making in Rhode Island, the call from many is that rather than design specific incentives, the state should work harder at reducing the overall regulatory and tax burdens on all businesses.
State incentives are a fact of life. Rhode Island is playing in a very competitive environment, as it looks not only to grow companies here but attract others to move here. To ignore this reality is to consign the Ocean State to second-class citizenship in the union.
So by all means, improve the overall business environment. But don't unilaterally disarm just as the programs put in place in the last few years are bearing fruit. •