TOM WARD - Stop overpaying your taxes!

TOM WARD - Stop overpaying your taxes!

I guess the people of Rhode Island who overpay their income taxes to the state each week need a reminder. Don’t trust the state! And don’t trust the federal government, either!

If you are one of the poor souls waiting for your state income tax overpayment from 2015 back, and you expected your check weeks ago but it has not come, you’ll get no sympathy from me. Unless you want to go through this pain again, head right over (now!) to your human resources or payroll clerk and cut the taxes you give to the state each week. Keep the money in your pocket. This isn’t hard!

In case you might not understand this, here is how it works. You give the federal and state governments money (income tax) from your paycheck each week. At the end of the year, if you’ve paid them a little too much, they give you the overpayment back. Let’s say you get $500 back, and you just love that feeling of getting that check. Fine. But that’s really dumb – it’s a free loan – and it is why you are standing around, powerless, while the state is making lame excuses and hanging on to your money.

How do you beat this? Simple. Go to your human resources or company payroll clerk and have them adjust your taxes. Keep the $10 each week in your pocket. You can spend it, or, if you really like that $500 each April, start a savings account in your bank or credit union. They can automatically sweep your $10 each week into your savings account, and you can celebrate your good fortune in April while the neighbors whine about not getting their “state check.”

Rare is the opportunity to fight back after being shafted by the state. This is one of those times. Give the state what they require each week, and not a penny more.

Take a Flying Leap!

While we might at times think to mumble that our politicians should “take a flying leap,” they will do just that this weekend, and you can join them, all for a good cause.

On Sunday at 10 a.m., the “Legislative Leap” coordinated in part by Rep. Jim McLaughlin of Cumberland, will take place in Middletown. The cost for a tandem skydive is $230, with part of the proceeds going to help families of deployed military personnel. Joining McLaughlin will be (among others) Cumberland’s Frank Matta and Nancy Phillips, wife of Rep. Bob Phillips of Woonsocket. For more information, call McLaughlin at (401) 741-1834.

Legislative slush

In the wake of the Rep. Ray Gallison scandal, while many of us have been complaining about the General Assembly’s slush fund (also knows as “legislative grants”), it’s unsurprising that on Monday House Speaker Nicholas Mattiello told us to get lost. The grants are given primarily to legislators who “play nice” with the leaders. Those funds, really nothing more than vote-buying using taxpayer dollars, will stay. In any case, we should take note of those who do not take part in filthy little shell game, as reported by Mike Stenhouse and his R.I. Center for Freedom & Prosperity. He writes:

“Much of the media attention has focused on lawmakers who have applied for such grants in a corrupt process to gain favor with voters. In looking at the other side of the coin, however, I’d like to recognize lawmakers in the General Assembly who have not applied for a single legislative grant this year.”

Those local legislators are: Rep. Greg Constantino, Democrat, Lincoln; Rep. Karen MacBeth, Democrat turned Republican, Cumberland; Rep. Brian Newberry, Republican minority leader, North Smithfield; Rep. Jeremiah O’Grady, Democrat, Lincoln; and Sen. Ed O’Neill, independent turned Republican, Lincoln.

Sadly, MacBeth and O’Neill are retiring.

Charter schools

It will be interesting to see what becomes of charter school and mayoral academy funding this year. All local school officials can talk about is how much they feel the public schools are being shafted. The good work done in many charters is barely a consideration. It’s all about money, and from what I’ve heard from the speaker (at a Northern R.I. Chamber of Commerce breakfast) and others, the charters are about to get slapped around in a big way.

Ward is publisher of The Valley Breeze

Comments

He may not get Legislative Grants, but I looked up the Campaign Finance Report for my State Rep and I see he got a check for $500 from Nick Mattielo, and another $500 from the Leadership Pac. So I guess he will be following the Leader (Speaker)