The Big E, a Little Piece of N.H. in Massachusetts
- Sales Tax News
- Sep 30, 2015 | Gail Cole
New Hampshire is a small state. Even smaller is the piece of New Hampshire located in Western Massachusetts on the grounds of the Eastern States Exposition, or Big E.
Born in the spring of 1917, the Big E now runs for 17 days every fall and draws more than one million visitors. It is a not-for-profit, educational institution governed by representatives from the 6 New England States: Connecticut, Maine, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, Rhode Island, and Vermont.
In 1919, Massachusetts created a replica of the Boston State House on the grounds. Maine and Vermont followed suit with buildings of their own, as did the remaining member states. Every year, vendors from each state set up booths in their state houses.
Fun Fact: “each state owns its building and the land the structure is built upon.”
You read that right. Visitors “can literally stroll through all six New England States.”
When in each state’s building, on each state’s land, you pay the state sales tax rate in effect in each state:
- Connecticut, 6.35%.
- Maine, 5.5%.
- Massachusetts, 6.25% (the rate in effect throughout most of the Big E)
- Rhode Island, 7%.
- Vermont, 6%
And in the New Hampshire state building, there is no sales tax.
Does that draw crowds to the New Hampshire booths? Jim Lorette of BunnyBoogie says few of his customers comment on the lack of tax, “They must think we built it into the price.”
But Katie Maclean of Ripple Pottery says she has to remind customers that there is no sales tax in that little slice of the Granite State: “This is sovereign territory of New Hampshire. We don’t charge sales tax in New Hampshire and we don’t charge sales tax here.”
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