Gucci is Tax Exempt, Mandatory PPE is Not

Looking at the taxes we are burdened to pay in Rhode Island, there’s a lot of them. From a sales tax for products that shouldn’t be taxed, to regressive carbon taxes, to estate taxes placed upon the state’s recently deceased, our small state has big taxes.

Looking to places where taxes get more lenient, clothing taxes are one place where it’s really not too high. That is to say, when not looking at an online purchase or any supplies to mend and repair clothing, both of which are still taxed. But looking at this, designer brands to wedding apparel are not necessities in the grand scheme of things.

Looking at the state of the world, one article of clothing we need to have on at all times is cloth face coverings. While I will not attest to the productiveness of the pieces, it is a necessary piece of clothing to enter a whole slew of Rhode Island establishments. From public K-12 schools to all forms of public transportation to any federal building, masks are now a necessity for all walks of life.

But for this vital piece of cloth protecting us from harmful bacteria (as well as bacteria that will help our immune system to protect us from illnesses like the common cold), it is still a taxed piece of clothing. To put this into perspective, the same state that does not tax uniforms (pieces of required clothing) is the same one that is taxing masks (a piece of required clothing, a part of a uniform one might say).

While it may be a minute tax for some, it can burden small businesses that are forced to purchase masks for their employees as well as individuals who do not wish to pay more towards their state for a piece of PPE necessary for survival. Though it does not look like there is any discussion to change the matter insight, it goes to show that our legislators are only willing to change tax codes to bring tourists to our state rather than help the residents currently there.


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