Mass., CT sales tax holidays the envy of Rhode Islanders

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SEEKONK, Mass. (WPRI) – Steve Spooner didn’t realize he’d be getting a break on his sales tax Sunday. The Wakefield, R.I. resident made the drive to Seekonk, Mass. to shop at Best Buy without recalling it was the Bay State’s sales tax holiday weekend.

“It’s like awesome,” he said. “I had no idea, none.”

Rhode Island has never had a sales tax holiday, despite attempts by some lawmakers.

This year, Warwick Rep. Joe Solomon, Jr. and Sen. Mark McKenney, both Democrats, sponsored a bill that would have established a sales tax holiday in Rhode Island on August 10 and 11. The bill didn’t make it out of committee.

Massachusetts has held a sales tax holiday most years since 2004. This year the state’s legislature decided to make it a permanent occurrence. Connecticut’s week-long tax break starts Sunday.

According to the Federation of Tax Administrators, 16 states will hold tax-free holidays this year. According to a Rhode Island House fiscal memo from 2006, it’s believed New York was the first state to implement such a holiday in 1997.

Spooner thinks Rhode Island should add its name to the list of participating states, but isn’t confident it will happen.

“They’re kind of tight, you know?” he said of local leaders.

Copyright 2019 Nexstar Broadcasting, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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