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Serpa Bills Would Nix RI Fuel Tax for Businesses

Representative Patricia A. Serpa is proposing cutting heating fuel taxes for business.
Representative Patricia A. Serpa is proposing cutting heating fuel taxes for business.

Warwick, RI – Rep. Patricia Serpa (D-Dist. 27, West Warwick,Coventry, Warwick) has submitted two bills to exempt commercial heating fuel from state taxes.

“There’s no tax on home heating fuel,” said Representative Serpa, “so why do we single out business owners? The one thing I consistently hear at small business summits is how high fuel taxes are in Rhode Island.”

Both of Serpa’s bills offer her fellow legislators a chance to provide the tax boon to the state business community, one with a $1.2 million cut to the state’s revenue, the other at a $25 million cut, according to a release from the Legislative Press and Public Information Bureau.

Bill 2015-H 5522 would exempt fuel oil, propane and natural gas for heating by commercial establishments from state taxes. Sen. Leonidas P. Raptakis (D-Dist. 33, Coventry, East Greenwich, West Greenwich) has introduced an identical bill (2015-S 0107) in the Senate.

Serpa, who serves as chairwoman of the House Small Business Committee, estimates the exemption would cut state revenue by $25 million.

The second bill (2015-H 5281) is similar to the first, except that it would limit the exemption to fuel oil only. That legislation would have an impact of $1.2 million on the state.

“The reason I submitted both bills is that, if we can’t find a way to make the money up on the first, we’ll have an alternative that has much less of an impact on the state’s revenue,” said Representative Serpa.

The first bill is co-sponsored by Representatives Deborah A. Fellela (D-Dist. 43, Johnston), Michael J. Marcello (D-Dist 41, Cranston), Joy Hearn (D-Dist. 66, Barrington, East Providence) and Deborah Ruggiero (D-Dist. 74, Jamestown, Middletown). The second bill is co-sponsored by Deborah A. Fellela (D-Dist. 43, Johnston), Robert D. Phillips (D-Dis. 51, Woonsocket,Cumberland), Deborah Ruggiero (D-Dist. 74, Jamestown, Middletown) and K. Joseph Shekarchi (D-Dist. 23, Warwick). Both bills have been referred to the House Finance Committee.


Rob Borkowski
Author: Rob Borkowski

Rob has worked as reporter and editor for several publications, including The Kent County Daily Times and Coventry Courier, before working for Gatehouse in MA then moving home with Patch Media. Now he's publisher and editor of Contact him at [email protected] with tips, press releases, advertising inquiries, and concerns.

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