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Rhode Island Mulls Fuel Tax Hike

June 4, 2002

Rhode Island is the latest in a string of states to look at hiking the fuel tax to help prop up budgets suffering from the recession.

Last week, the state House of Representatives passed a 2-cent fuel tax hike as part of a budget bill to avoid future projected deficits. If the bill becomes law, the state's diesel tax would climb to 30 cents.
The $5.4 billion state budget package would erase a projected deficit with the aid of tax and fee hikes, spending reductions and tobacco-related revenues.
Gov. Lincoln Almond says he doesn't believe the proposed budget trims enough spending to avoid future deficits, but he believes the Senate will approve the plan. The governor says he will wait to see what changes the Senate makes to the proposal before considering a veto.
Almond has threatened to veto the House version of the legislation in the past. He opposes the proposed 2-cent hike in the gas tax, which would allow lawmakers to ensure communities get a minimum 2.5 percent increase in local education aid.
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