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Rhode Island, March 10, 2016

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God bless this state.

A Rhode Island state representative has pulled his name from legislation that would put a 10-year statute of limitations on the collection of state taxes after acknowledging that he may owe the state more than $120,000 in back taxes.

Rep. Thomas Palangio, a Providence Democrat who has represented District 3 since 2013, told Target 12 he co-sponsored the legislation because he was told it was a “good pro-business bill,” but acknowledged he didn’t read the two-page proposal “as carefully as I should have.”

“It has been brought to my attention that this bill could be perceived to benefit me and a tax situation that I am currently working to address,” Palangio said. “Today, I asked for my name to be withdrawn as a sponsor of the legislation.”

The legislation, which requires state tax officials to commence civil actions on delinquent taxpayers within 10 years of the tax first becoming due, is sponsored by House Majority Leader John DeSimone, D-Providence.

Palangio owes the state $127,000, according to a list of the state’s top 100 income tax delinquents published by the R.I. Division of Taxation. He said he has been working with his accountant for several months to address the debt.

In other words, Thursday in Rhode Island.

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  • efgoldman

    Erik, I’ve been telling people from Illinois, NJ, Louisiana, MA and points West that, per population and per square mile, we’re the most corrupt state in the country, but they don’t believe me for some reason.
    OTOH, ours is the old-fashioned show me the money kind of corruption. There’s no comparison with the Republiklown RWNJ TeaHadi states where the whole state has been hijacked for ideological reasons (looking at you, Snotty Walker).

    • Mike Lommler

      Pfft. It’s going to take a lot more than this penny ante bullshit to convince me that Illinois isn’t the most corrupt state in this here Union. Wake me when a few more of your governors end up in jail.

      • John Revolta

        Well, he did say per square mile. By that measure, RI probably has the most tapdancin’ poodledogs also too.

      • wengler

        People going to jail only means that another level of government is paying attention. Rhode Island is the most mobbed-up state in the country.

        • Public hiring in Rhode Island is still done like it’s 1892.

  • tsam

    I’d sure like to legislate my debts out of existence. I guess I picked the wrong line of work.

    • jim, some guy in iowa

      I’d settle for being able to legislate my debts onto someone else to pay

      • efgoldman

        I’d settle for being able to legislate my debts onto someone else to pay

        Then you should be a Republiklown. Privatize profits, socialize losses.

        • jim, some guy in iowa

          nah. I’d rather pay my own way than be stuck with that crew of retrograde godbothering weirdos

          • tsam

            That’s a monster sized amen.

  • CHD

    My parents grew up in Pawtucket and I still have quite a bit of family there; I grew up in SE Pennsylvania, in the same media market as South Jersey, during the mob wars over AC; my sister lives and teaches in central NJ now. I’d say Jersey is a lot worse than RI. Much smoother about it, more sophisticated, bigger fish in a bigger pond. But in RI at least the (admittedly bad) motivations are crystal clear, which is kind of charming at a time when tax cuts are typically named “Full Emplyment Act”

    • efgoldman

      But in RI at least the (admittedly bad) motivations are crystal clear

      Good old fashioned graft, the way gawd and Boss Tweed meant it to be. None of this Winger ideological crap.
      OTOH, “the most Catholic state in the nation” (self-named, and proudly) elected an openly gay, Jewish mayor in Providence (now in Congress) and in openly gay speaker of the house (now in the slammer – some traditions never die), and passed same sex marriage through the legislature with no serious opposition. The bishop is considered a minor annoyance, like bugs in the summertime.

      • CHD

        the most Catholic state in the nation (self-named…

        Actually, I think that is still objectively true. If it’s not, then they only lost the title recently.

        Still, the acceptance of religious minorities has a very long history in RI. IIRC the first Jewish temple in North America was (and is) in Providence, and of course founder Roger Williams had the idea of freedom of religion some 150 years before the 1st Amendment. It was a Big Deal. My Pawtucket-raised parents were very proud of that.

        • Lt. Condition

          That’s true about the synagogue. I dated a Jewish girl who lived in Providence when I lived in Boston (half a life ago), and she was pretty proud to be in the state that was the first place in this hemisphere to accept Jews.

          Rhode Island is a very odd state, when you make a list of all of its upsides and downsides. But really, I feel like these days most of New England is fairly anachronistic as it relates to the rest of the country.

          • efgoldman

            most of New England is fairly anachronistic as it relates to the rest of the country.

            New England is where the industrial revolution first happened on this continent. Unfortunately, that also meant we weer4e the first to lose the industries (paper, textiles, furniture, shoes, machines) to the cheaper South and eventually to overseas. Some areas (Greater Boston and Eastern MA, Vermont, the area around Portland ME) were able to adapt. Some (most of RI, CT’s old industrial eras) have not.

        • efgoldman

          the first Jewish temple in North America was (and is) in Providence

          Small detail: it’s in Newport.
          I don’t know why, but that’s a common mistake. Even people who grew up here (I didn’t) think it’s in Providence.

          • CHD

            Oops. I don’t get back East often enough to keep my storiea straight. But it’s also probably because it’s often mentioned in the same sentence with the literal First Baptist Church, which is of course actually in Providence.

    • njorl

      I remember when they were trying to get cable TV into Philadelphia. The city council conducted public bribery negotiations. They held a public bribery ceremony where the cable company presented the president of the city council a Rolex.

      You couldn’t do that today. You have to pass a law legalizing it first. It’s all so much more civilized now.

  • JG

    Technically he is an honest politician

  • Rob in CT

    “The Dumpster Fire, a continuing series”

  • Rob in CT
    • njorl

      It’s funny. I could swear that the first person I ever heard explain why means testing public services was bad was Yglesias. I would have thought he’d have been on board with this from the start. Maybe I’m remembering wrong.

  • njorl

    Let me tell you how it will be
    There’s 85 for you, fifteen for me
    Cos I’m the capital gains taxman, yeah, I’m the capital gains taxman
    Should 85 per cent appear too small
    Use shelters so you keep it all
    Cos I’m the capital gains taxman, yeah I’m the capital gains taxman

    • Lee Rudolph

      …And I’m working for no-one but you!

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