The New York Times, in the course of a catch-up story on the John Kerry-Teresa Heinz Kerry yacht, mentions in passing that "Rhode Island, which has been economically hobbled by the recession, is changing its business and economic climate to make it friendlier to businesses, including nearly halving its personal income tax."
Under the new law, the state will reduce the number of tax brackets from five to three, with the highest marginal rate at 5.99 percent, down from 9.9 percent. The law also increases the standard deduction for all taxpayers. The new system is effective for tax years beginning January 1, 2011.
"Today, Rhode Island has a new and compelling story to tell. While many other states have increased taxes to make up for revenue shortfalls, we have rejected that approach. Seizing the opportunity to stand out from the rest, we are reducing our tax rates and sending a clear message to our citizens, businesses, and neighbors that we are serious about improving our tax competitiveness," said Governor Carcieri....
The new system consists of three taxable income brackets/marginal tax rates as follows: over $0 to $55,000, 3.75 percent; over $55,000 to $125,000, 4.75 percent; over $125,000, 5.99 percent.
Governor Carcieri is 67 years old and has 14 grandchildren, and his state has a paltry four electoral votes, so it's hard to see him as presidential material. But a presidential campaigns have been manufactured out of policy accomplishments plenty less impressive than a marginal income tax cut of that scale.