Rhode Island Lifts Tourism Tax
- May 23, 2012 | Will Frei
The Rhode Island Senate passed a bill that removes sales tax on Rhode Island tourist services, including sightseeing tours and transportation services (2012-S-2049).
In 2011, Rhode Island amended their sales tax law by extending the state's 7 percent sales tax to "The furnishing of package tour and scenic sightseeing transportation services . . . provided that such services are conducted in the state, in whole or in part."
Senate president Paiva Weed, who helped promise and promote the bill to repeal the tourism tax, stated that the tax helped to close a budget gap, but now threatens Rhode Island's tourism industry
Originally, the tax was projected to raise more than $1 million in new revenue. However, many Legislators now feel that it could do more harm than good. Said Weed, ". . . in the months since its enactment we have heard from many in the tourism industry about the unintended consequences of this provision. This legislation removes a potential impediment to our vital tourism industry."