Lawmakers proposing a sales tax holiday weekend in Rhode Island


PROVIDENCE, R.I. (WPRI) — Rhode Island has never had a sales tax holiday weekend, but that could all change this year.

Much like Black Friday or Cyber Monday, sales tax-free weekends are a shopper’s dream and State Rep. Joseph Solomon wants to make it a reality.

“If you’ve ever been to a sales tax holiday weekend in the state of Massachusetts, you’d see that there are Rhode Island plates over in the parking lots of Massachusetts stores. What I want to see is Massachusetts cars and Connecticut cars shopping at Rhode Island stores,” Solomon said.

Plenty of people agree with Solomon.

“We need it! Taxes are so high in the state. That’s why everybody’s shopping online now,” Dennis Young of Cranston said.

Solomon’s proposal would establish a sales tax holiday for the weekend of August 10-11.

Items less than $2,500 would be exempt from the state’s 7% sales tax. Solomon estimates the state would lose about $5 million in sales tax revenue that weekend, but he believes the money would be made up elsewhere.

“I believe that tax revenue would be made up through the hotel tax, through restaurant tax, which would not be exempt,” Solomon said.

Solomon said there will be committee hearings scheduled in the coming months. He’s asking people to come and share their opinions on the proposal.

“Come out and testify on these bills. Show why you want a sales tax holiday weekend. And I believe we can get it passed,” Solomon said.

“I just think that the business would expand especially on that kind of weekend a lot of customers coming in a lot of people from out of state probably as well, travelers that come in. I think it would be a great opportunity,” David Kendrick of Smithfield said.

Solomon said that he’d love to see this become an annual event, but the first step is making it happen this year.

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