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In re OIP Opinion F19-05 — The Documents

During any legislative session, our Department of Taxation furnishes a very important service to our legislators. It provides revenue estimates on various bills going through the legislative process. Sometimes it includes in its public testimony the end result—the bill will result in the State gaining $x million per year, for example—but it doesn’t disclose how it got to that number.

A local tax attorney asked for the Department’s revenue estimates on a particular bill, including the underlying assumptions, source data and documents, and computations it uses to create those estimates. After the Department refused to turn them over, he went to the state’s Office of Information Practices, or OIP. In May, OIP issued Formal Opinion F19-05, ruling against the Department and ordering the revenue estimate materials turned over.

The Department of Taxation appealed the case to First Circuit Court, calling OIP’s decision “palpably erroneous.”  The Department lost.

Here are some documents filed in the case.

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