A bill filed by a Rhode Island lawmaker would require landscapers to register with the state and carry at least $100,000 in public liability and property damage insurance.
The bill was sponsored last week by state Sen. John J. Tassoni Jr., a Smithfield Democrat.
He says the point of the bill is to “level the playing field” between legitimate landscaping companies and “fly-by-night” outfits that don’t pay taxes. He said the latter companies have a big advantage because they have no overhead.
Tassoni also says the state is losing a lot of money in income and sales taxes.
A spokeswoman for the Rhode Island Statewide Coalition, an advocacy group for taxpayers and businesses, said she was worried smaller landscaping businesses might be hurt by the bill’s requirements.