Research Institute of America

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This stub is a work-in-progress by the journalists's group. We are indexing the millions of documents stored at the San Francisco Uni's Legacy Tobacco Archive [1] With some entries you'll need to go to this site and type into the Search panel a (multi-digit) Bates number. You can search on names for other documents also.     Send any corrections or additions to

The Research Institute of America Inc. is a corporate-oriented, economics consultancy with a tax emphasis. It is based in Fifth Avenue, New York. Among other things, it produces publications like "State and Local Taxes" (comparison charts), "What you should know about your social security now" (RIA Employee Handbook); The RIA complete analysis of the Tax Equity and Fiscal Responsibility Act of '82; the RIA's Federal Tax Handbook, and papers on taxation in all 50 States.

They also have a library service which can supply companies with material on the various tax codes, excises, etc including some publicised Opinion Polls. [2]. Their weekly "Recommendations" newsletter has snippets of information and hearsay about various Congressional and international political activities, plus some commentary. There is a distinct 'national defense' emphasis in addition to the tax and local industrial/economics commentary. [3]

The intriguing gaps in our knowledge about the RIA was that:
1. William J. Casey listed them as his place of work before he ran Ronald Reagan's primary and presidential campaigns; established the Manhattan Institute; and then took over the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA), and
2. Jeffrey St. John, the ultra-conservative TV opinion program maker also worked for them doing statistical studies. [4]

They were certainly operating before 1974. The tobacco document archives has 222 instances of the name in documents -- but nothing of much interest to anyone other than a tax lawyer .

Documents & Timeline

1977 "What you should know about your social security now" (RIA Employee Handbook); [5]

1980The RIA file at the Tobacco Institute contains only a payment slip for $15.94 paid to Mt Kisco, NY. It appears to be related to Employee Benefits Compliance. [6]

1984 In this year they were producing an 'operational report ALERT which obviously contained an item of interest to the Tobacco Institute (re an adverse statement on the productivity of smokers) [7] The Chairman of the Board was Warren Meeker.

1986 The Tobacco Institute library renewed its subscription of $39.72 to The Research Institute of America, Inc. in Rochester NY.[8]

1987 Apr An article in the March edition of Employee Benefits News "Smoking Poses New Dilemma" has resulted in many requests for the TI's "workplace assistance program". One of these was the Research Institute of America. [9]