Will RI Be Beaten to the Sales Tax Reduction Punch?

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Uh-oh, Rhode Island.  Maybe we should get on the ball and move along a big sales tax reduction.  Here’s what’s happening in Massachusetts:

There may be a major tax cut competing with the significant tax increase that’s already being prepared for the 2018 ballot in Massachusetts. …

A poll conducted for the retailers association in November by Princeton Research Associates reminded respondents that the so-called millionaire’s tax may be headed for next year’s ballot. Seventy-nine percent of those respondents said they support reducing the sales tax to about 4 percent or 4.5 percent to make the tax system fairer and to support local retailers. In the poll, 66 percent said they believe the “proper sales tax range” for Massachusetts would between 4 percent and 4.5 percent.

Let’s get down to 3% this year and watch our economy boom.  I’ll even let Governor Raimondo take some of the credit.  (Some.)



  • Raymond Carter

    Democrats are not cutting sales tax in EITHER state. Get a grip.

  • Wil

    MA economy thriving, RI is not. RI also does not have a booming tourism industry like sales tax free states NV, FL & NH. We’d need to make hotel tax 15% to make up the sales tax of 3% difference. I can see RI going to maybe 5 or 6%, but not 3%.

    • Guest

      HI is not a sales tax free state but its tourism industry is booming even though it depends on airline industry and cruise lines for tourism being the most isolated population in the world so I don’t
      think tax has anything to do with it plus it doesn’t have a state logo or catchy phrase. HI has a central tourist division which coordinates with each of the 5 Counties and has one of the largest tourist budgets in the nation. 2016 over 8.4 million tourist visited HI infusing the economy with over $15.6 billion. Tourist taxes are rental vehicle flat $3/day fee, Transient Accommodations Tax (Hotel Tax) 9.25% and General Excise Tax 4%: Total 13.25% and Restaurant Tax 4%; Gross Total 17.25% plus $3.

      To put things into perspective, U.S. Census Bureau indicates 1.4 million people live in HI and the State of HI 2016 Fiscal Budget was $13.9 billion based on resident taxes paid to the state not tourists income. There are an awful lot of state and local services in HI that are free or reduced price that people in RI pay for.

      RI tourism is decentralized with nobody in the county level tourist bureaus working together and has a very poor state-wide budget system. This was not the case years ago! RI has no system of counting tourists to understand what is working and what is not working in the state or publicly reporting tourist numbers in monthly and annual reports to justify spending taxpayer funds. Tourist taxes are rental vehicle 8%, Transient Accommodations Tax (Hotel Tax) 5%, Local Tax 1% and Sales Tax 7%: Total 13% and Meals and Beverage (Restaurant) tax 8%; Gross Total 29%.

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