Existing state law (General Law 44-18-18) specifies a “trigger” for a sales tax rate reduction to 6.5% (from its current level of 7.0%!) if certain internet sales tax collection criteria are met. The rationale for this law was to relieve Rhode Islanders of the additional burden of imposing a sales tax on a broader range of purchased goods, by easing the tax.
For all intents and purposes, that this trigger threshold has been met. With major retailers suffering across our state, it’s time for government to fulfill its half-percent promise and provide some much needed relief to the hard-working taxpayers and businesses in our state.
In multiple ways, Rhode Islanders have recently suffered a wide broadening of the sales tax, but they have not yet benefitted from the promised lowered rate, as was the clear intent of the state’s law.
The General Assembly should honor its commitment to the people of Rhode Island, should abide by legislation that the legislature itself passed, and should comply with state law. Rhode Islanders want state and local government that works for everyone, not just the chosen few. The families of the Ocean State deserve a better policy culture; keeping promises is a good place to start.