2014 Election: Some local artists have expressed concern that the tax-free art bill will encourage out-of-state galleries and out-of-state artists to use RI as a tax haven, something that is already happening. Is this a bad thing, and what would you do to ensure the promotion of local artists when it comes to selling art?

RI Governor

Todd Giroux (D): We’re moving in the direction of having tax-free-zones for art collaboratives. That’s the long-term answer to the business community.

Gina Raimondo (D): I think we can do a much better job of branding Rhode Island as a tourist destination, and that includes highlighting the amazing work being produced by Rhode Islanders. We have so much talent here. And while it’s helpful to have out-of-state interest in Rhode Island, I think we have a unique opportunity to show the rest of the world all of the great things being made here in our state. I have called for plans to better market Rhode Island products, including art, to the rest of the country and around the world.

Clay Pell (D): I favor the tax-free art law as a means to support our artists and galleries. I am encouraged that out-of-state artists would want to locate in Rhode Island and add to our vibrant arts scene as a result of this newly enacted law. The Division of Taxation has the enforcement authority to identify tax violations and penalize those individuals and businesses that do not properly file their taxes in the state. I support more rigorous tax code enforcement when a new law, such as this, is enacted to ensure that its intended benefits are achieved.

 

 

Providence Mayor

Daniel Harrop (R): There is nothing wrong with letting the free market operate. The better artists will shine.

Buddy Cianci (I): In Providence, my administration pioneered what probably was the first arts district in the entire country, where artists didn’t pay sales or state income taxes. Our legislation was tightly crafted, though, where in order to take advantage of the benefit, you had tomaintain a physical residence in the city. The state’s legislation mimics our original legislation, but lacks the necessary mechanisms to protect local residents from getting overshadowed by those looking to take advantage of the system. In Providence, we made it work, and our district became one that was duplicated around the country.

Michael Solomon (D): In City Hall we do monthly art installations. As mayor, I will make sure that these installations highlight local artists.

Jorge Elorza (D): Using tax policies to attract out-of-state businesses and talents is exactly the work we should be doing to stimulate our economy. Of course, we always want to prioritize homegrown talent. Fortunately, we have a loyal, supportive community that will always seek out and promote Providence artists. And if I’m elected, local artists will always have a friend in City Hall.

Brett Smiley (D): I don’t think it is a bad thing. We’ve got some incredible talent here. Most of them sell their work out of state, because they can’t get the prices here that they can get in NY and other places. If this becomes a place where art lovers and connoisseurs come for the weekend to cultivate their collection, that would be great. I would love this to be a gallery destination, to be a place where everyone comes from out of state to buy art, which would create additional buyers for local artists as well as helping to make it a destination.

One response to “2014 Election: Some local artists have expressed concern that the tax-free art bill will encourage out-of-state galleries and out-of-state artists to use RI as a tax haven, something that is already happening. Is this a bad thing, and what would you do to ensure the promotion of local artists when it comes to selling art?”

  1. Mark Binder says:

    Tax Free Art is a scam. Has anyone who's reading this actually not bought something because of sales tax? It benefits the wealthy who spend lots of money and don't want to pay taxes. So, instead of "art" becoming part of the economy and participating in raising funds for government, the legislature passed another bill that will let the former EDC borrow money to fund… the arts! (Except it's called arts and tourism. None will actually go to artists.) Artists not paying income tax on art sold — that's a valuable incentive and gentrification motivator. (Said the artist…) But RISCA has little enough funding anyway.

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