Shopping Curiosity

Just wondering: how much money have people seen flowing out of Rhode Island, today, to take advantage of Massachusetts’s tax-free weekend? I know of a flat-screen TV and a computer and have received witness accounts of both such items flying out the door of the Dartmouth BJ’s. (Sadly, my budget remains much too tight to take advantage of the opportunity, although my list of like-to-haves continues to grow.)

0 0 votes
Article Rating
Subscribe
Notify of
guest
40 Comments
Oldest
Newest Most Voted
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments
George Elbow
George Elbow
12 years ago

Justin,
I’m with you …lot’s of wants & needs. But on Friday (Aug 15) the ole property tax was due, and you know we’ve got to feed Bob Walsh’s starving flock.
They are particularly hungry this time of the year, as long days at the beach tend to expand one’s appetite.
So alas, my wants and needs will have to wait another year while I live within my means.
Any chance the State of RI will ever take the same approach …living within it’s means?

Tom W
Tom W
12 years ago

Rhode Island’s gas tax is 31 cents per gallon, about 32% higher than Massachusetts at 23.5 cents per gallon (and about 58% higher than New Hampshire’s 19.6 cent per gallon tax). Query why Rhode Island’s roads are among the worst in the country, and our bridges are ranked as the worst in the country. Rhode Island’s sales tax at the “temporary” seven percent sales tax rate is 40% higher than Massachusetts’ five percent sales tax. And Rhode Island’s sales tax rate is infinitely higher than this weekend’s “0” rate in Massachusetts, and infinitely higher than income-tax free New Hampshire’s “everyday low prices” sales tax rate of “O.” Rhode Island’s beer tax is 10 cents per gallon, plus 4 cents per case at the wholesale level, which seems marginally better than Massachusetts’ 11 cents per gallon and New Hampshire’s 30 cents per gallon … until one realizes that Rhode Island charges its “temporary” 7 percent sales tax on the entire retail purchase price of the beer (including the amount of the aforementioned excise taxes), whereas neither Massachusetts or New Hampshire charge sales tax on beer. Rhode Island’s meals tax – at eight percent – is a whopping 60% higher than Massachusetts’ five percent rate. Cigarettes? Rhode Island’s tax is second-highest in the country at $2.46 a pack (compared to $1.51in MA and $1.08 in New Hampshire). Leaving aside for the moment the legal issues surrounding the “use tax,” not only this weekend, but throughout the year, it’s a wonder that anyone shops in Rhode Island, ever. The savings of hopping over the border to MA to – or even a day trip to New Hampshire – to stock up, beer up and gas up, would make the trip more than worth it. Not to mention the satisfaction that a Rhode Islander… Read more »

George Elbow
George Elbow
12 years ago

Tom W.
Well said.
RI actually one-upped Mass’s Prop 2.5 with the S-3050 property tax cap limit legislation.
Unfortunately, the words “limit” and “limited resources” are not in the vocabulary of the hand-wringing, Do-it-for-the-Children Union hacks that lead the charge on overrides.
We need to hit rock bottom before the morons wake up.

donroach
donroach
12 years ago

Spent a couple hundred at Ikea yesterday, in Stoughton, MA.
Enjoyed the Tax freedom.
RI really needs to get on board with the tax free holiday.

Will
12 years ago

Interestingly enough, I just got back from Sam’s Club in Seekonk and boy, are my arms tired (from carrying stuff).
Judging from the parking lots, there were tons of Rhode Island license plates, and pretty much everywhere else in Seekonk. Route 6 was packed. Just think of all that tax money. Anything we can do to starve the beast, I’m for it.

Greg
Greg
12 years ago

As a Rhode Islander, every trip to the stores in Massachusetts is a sales holiday. In an effort to do my part as a taxpayer in Rhode Island, I try to starve the beast as much as I can.

Phil
Phil
12 years ago

What an absolutely wonderful day to be alive in Rhode Island. No shopping malls for me. Picking green beans and blueberries was the only gathering activities I exercised today. And I didn’t find it overly taxing.

Marc
12 years ago

Spent the day at the pool and kicked the soccer ball around with the kids. Does that make be as non-consumerist as Phil, even if it involved competition of another variety? (wink)

Matt
Matt
12 years ago

No sales tax today at Newt’s Guns in Exeter RI
Plus free trials at their target range
targets
1 Ted Kenedy
2 Matthew Shepard RIP
3 Barney Frank
4 Harvey Milk RIP
5 David Cicciline c/o Joe Bernstien
6 Elton John

Fereucci
Fereucci
12 years ago

Target # 7 at Newt’s
Greg Lauganis…RIP

rhody
rhody
12 years ago

I guess the ‘phobes have shaky posting fingers LOL.
I think it’s fantastic that we’re all shopping in a more liberal state than Rhode Island. 🙂

George Elbow
George Elbow
12 years ago

Rhody,
Just goes to prove that the two are not mutually exclusive.
Someone better break the news to Chairman Mao, I mean Bob Walsh.

Monique
Editor
12 years ago

Sales tax holiday?? Don’t you people understand we need every penny of revenue?

Ken
Ken
12 years ago

So what I am reading here on Anchor Rising Blog in conjunction with WPRO Commercial Radio Station and “The Matt Allen Show”; the Republican party of Rhode Island is that the majority of you bloggers on this blog and Justin Katz support shopping out of state in Massachusetts during a tax holiday where no sales tax is charged on any purchases and the intent is to forego required payment of State of Rhode Island “Use Tax” on your purchases “IN VIOLATION OF STATE OF RHODE ISLAND LAWS” which increases the continued State of RI budget deficit and increases your local tax debt.
I believe Monique’s comment says it best; “Sales tax holiday?? Don’t you people understand we need every penny of revenue?
Not to include the intelligent comments to the whole Internet world that those of you are happy you did not pay taxes or intend not to pay “required RI use tax” on your purchases which can be tracked by RI Division of Taxation and charged to you with “penalty and interest.”
I see a lot of cracked glass in this house!

Robert Balliot
12 years ago

The high sales tax rate in Rhode Island was sold to the public as a temporary fix of the credit union fiasco in 1992.
http://query.nytimes.com/gst/fullpage.html?res=9E0CE6DA1F3DF93BA15756C0A964958260&sec=&spon=&pagewanted=all
Almost everyone in Rhode Island can get to stores in neighboring states with a short drive or even by walking and take advantage of lower prices. It seems the best way to raise sales tax revenue would be to lower Rhode Island’s sales tax below MASS and NH. You simply don’t increase sales volume by offering the same products at higher prices that are already available locally at a discount.

Robert Balliot
12 years ago

The high sales tax rate in Rhode Island was sold to the public as a temporary fix of the credit union fiasco in 1992.
http://query.nytimes.com/gst/fullpage.html?res=9E0CE6DA1F3DF93BA15756C0A964958260&sec=&spon=&pagewanted=all
Almost everyone in Rhode Island can get to stores in neighboring states with a short drive or even by walking and take advantage of lower prices. It seems the best way to raise sales tax revenue would be to lower Rhode Island’s sales tax below MASS and NH. You simply don’t increase sales volume by offering the same products at higher prices that are already available locally at a discount.

Ragin' Rhode Islander
Ragin' Rhode Islander
12 years ago

-You simply don’t increase sales volume by offering the same products at higher prices that are already available locally at a discount.
Just try explaining that to the MENSA members at the General Assembly.
Oh wait, there probably aren’t any.
Just try explaining that to the Special Olympics athletes at the General Assembly.

Mike
Mike
12 years ago

Hey Ken,
don’t hold your breath waiting for those “use tax” forms.
I hope everybody this weekend, as they crossed the border into RI, thought of Pat Crowley and the rest of the crooks as they raised their middle finger with a SMILE on their face.

rhody
rhody
12 years ago

Did anybody realize that in sticking it to Pat Crowley, Bob Walsh and co., you’e also sticking it to Rhode Island’s small businesspeople, too?
Cut nose, spite face.

Mike
Mike
12 years ago

Keep whining Rhody. Any dime that doesn’t go to the crooks is a dime well spent.
Is Pat Crowley Irish for “lying sack”?

Monique
Editor
12 years ago

“you’e also sticking it to Rhode Island’s small businesspeople, too?”
Rhody, we couldn’t do it nearly as well as the Democrat-controlled General Assembly. In this state with the worst business tax climate in the country, we stand in awe of their capacity to stick it to businesses.

Tom W
Tom W
12 years ago

>>Did anybody realize that in sticking it to Pat Crowley, Bob Walsh and co., you’e also sticking it to Rhode Island’s small businesspeople, too? Cut nose, spite face. Rhody, To echo Monique, if the General Assembly doesn’t give a sh** about Rhode Island’s businesses, large or small, then why should we? Perhaps if the businesses start feeling the pain enough they’ll prevail upon the various Chambers of Commerce to stop being social clubs and actually start advocating for business at the GA. Rhode Island is perennially ranked as among the bottom five states for business, which means that RI is among the bottom five states, which goes a long way toward explaining why our unemployment rate is about 40% higher than the national average. So what has been the General Assembly’s perennial response? Business as usual (pun intended) – corruption, pandering to the public sector unions and welfare industry, raising taxes and one-time fiscal gimmicks to “just get us through this fiscal year, and we’ll worry about next year next year.” Rhode Island is a great place to be on the public teat – either as a welfare recipient or welfare administrator (or other form of public sector employee). It is a terrible place for those who want to work and make their way in the world, at least if they wish to do so through honest labor. That is why for decades born and bred Rhode Islanders have left this state after graduating college, either from recognition that their opportunities would be greater elsewhere, or out of compulsion because they just couldn’t find a decent job here. I went to school with both way back when, Of the ones I’m still in touch with, not one would come back to Rhode Island. So much for our “great quality of… Read more »

Johnny
Johnny
12 years ago

Why get all excited by a sales tax holiday by shopping in MA to save a few bucks?
Use the interwebs and the Google-thing to get a much better price on anything you could get at Best Buy. No sales tax and shipped to your door.
Isn’t America a great country?
p.s. I have a man crush on Victor Moffitt.

rhody
rhody
12 years ago

I guess the Rhode Island business community is learning who its friends are. If they thought R.I. Republicans and the Right were its friends, they will get a very rude awakening reading this thread.

JP
JP
12 years ago

I guess the Rhode Island business community is learning who its friends are. If they thought R.I. Republicans and the Right were its friends, they will get a very rude awakening reading this thread.
Why do you equate Republican philosophy to patronizing state-specific businesses when in fact their mantra is to encourage competition between states in order to produce the best/cheapest products and services?
Patronizing a specific state’s business despite quality of service and/or price is a uniquely liberal mindset.

Ragin' Rhode Islander
Ragin' Rhode Islander
12 years ago

–“I guess the Rhode Island business community is learning who its friends are. If they thought R.I. Republicans and the Right were its friends, they will get a very rude awakening reading this thread.”
As if there weren’t hundreds or thousands of RI teachers hopping over the border to take advantage of the tax free weekend – even though during the summer they usually prefer to do their shopping on weekdays, since the stores are so much less crowded when everyone else is at work.

rhody
rhody
12 years ago

It’s not liberal or conservative, it’s about gleefully deciding to punish R.I. businesses just out of pique at the likes of Crowley and Walsh. It’s childish, really.
On the other hand, R.I’s legislators and governor do share the blame for not legalizing gay marriage – look at how Massachusetts is reaping the economic benefits. Another missed economic opportunity Rhode Island’s business community could’ve enjoyed.

Ragin' Rhode Islander
Ragin' Rhode Islander
12 years ago

–“It’s not liberal or conservative, it’s about gleefully deciding to punish R.I. businesses just out of pique at the likes of Crowley and Walsh. It’s childish, really.
”
If anything, the RI businesses are collateral damage in the Democrats war against those of us in the non-welfare private sector.
That’s why so many former Rhode Island businesses have established themselves in refugee camps – Seekonk, Attleboro, etc.
–“On the other hand, R.I’s legislators and governor do share the blame for not legalizing gay marriage – look at how Massachusetts is reaping the economic benefits. Another missed economic opportunity Rhode Island’s business community could’ve enjoyed.”
Yeah, like I’m supposed to be unhappy that Rhode Island hasn’t followed MA in attempting to “backdoor” its way into becoming the homosexual version of the Las Vegas wedding chapel industry?

Anthony
Anthony
12 years ago

I feel bad for the RI businesses that lose money because Rhode Islanders shop in MA.
But it’s the General Assembly’s fault. RI small businesses tried to get the General Assembly to declare a tax holiday, but to no avail.
I certainly don’t blame consumers. How liberals can blame a working class family for purchasing tax-free goods in MA instead of paying inflated RI prices is beyond me.
My guess is that the most affluent consumers weren’t the ones driving to MA for deals at Sam’s Club, BJ’s or T.J. Maxx.

rhody
rhody
12 years ago

Ragin, let’s admit we’re all about the almighty dollar here. I’m a capitalist, too.
Massachusetts is “backdooring” its way into economic opportunity that Rhode Island’s executive and legislative branches stubbornly refuse to take advantage of (hell, even a conservative like Sonny Bono had the wisdom and foresight to recognize a good business opportunity as a mayor). ‘Nuff said.

Robert Balliot
12 years ago

I know Patrick Crowley and Bob Walsh and spent some time across the table from them in union negotiations. Both always seemed to be sincere in their beliefs. I don’t think that you can blame them for doing their jobs – they are paid to look out for union interests. That is what they do. I can’t imagine thinking about either of them while shopping.
There is so much money in conflicting labor processes that it attracts a particularly ruthless ensemble. Labor attorneys and Arbitrators get paid by the hour. The worse it gets, the more they get. The more egos are hurt, the more entrenched things get. When we went the other direction and used interest based bargaining attorney fees for the process were only about $300 total to review. Both sides of the table were satisfied.
Patrick might contribute to the problem by promoting the we v them philosophy with some of his theatrics. I personally thought that he was quite creative. However, he is not getting paid $300 an hour to make things drag out. It is the process not personality that creates the real problems.
I did, in fact, ask Lenihan several years ago about reducing the sales tax rate to generate revenue. I was told that they had ‘studied’ it. It would be interesting to do a simple unbiased market analysis to see what the effect would be on cigarette tax revenue.

George Elbow
George Elbow
12 years ago

Bob Balliot,
It is no longer good enough or acceptable to give Bob Walsh and his half-wit side-kick, Patrick “I struggle with basic math” Crowley, an elpaso by simply saying “they are doing their jobs”.
At some point you need to look past that excuse and examine exactly what it is they are doing and what the result is.
And the answer is that they are destroying the state and education by fostering and creating an Entitlement mentalitiy to be supported by a nanny-state that requires and creates an unfair and Unsustainable cost structure that is crushing the hardworking Taxpayers and destroying the State’s ability to compete.
And worse, they do it by employing blatently hypocritical means.
For example, Bob Walsh loves to crow about Union Democracy by pointing to the fact that Council 94 held a democratic vote in regecting the Contract that their “leaders” negotiated.
Yet Bob fights tooth and nail any efforts that would allow the Taxpayers the same right to have a democratic vote on the same contracts.
In fact, Bob & Co. hired lobbyist Henry Boeniger to fight legislation that would require labor contracts to be subject to public review and comment Prior to ratification, in the same manner as contracts are subject to review and comment (and a vote) by the Union membership.
Bottom line, it is horse-shit to simply say Bob & Co. are “just doing their jobs”. Seems to me there were at least a few people in Nazi Germany that defended themselves by saying they were just doing their jobs, keeping the trains running on time.

George Elbow
George Elbow
12 years ago

Rhody,
“let’s admit we’re all about the almighty dollar here”.
What, is that something you overheard at a Council 94 meeting or a Tiverton Teachers’ Union gathering when they were making placards that said “Do it for the Children”?

rhody
rhody
12 years ago

What would be a beautiful late summer morning without another elbowian non sequitur?
BTW, the only connection I have with Council 94 is that its business office happens to be located in my town…on the other side of town.

Ragin' Rhode Islander
Ragin' Rhode Islander
12 years ago

–“Massachusetts is “backdooring” its way into economic opportunity that Rhode Island’s executive and legislative branches stubbornly refuse to take advantage of (hell, even a conservative like Sonny Bono had the wisdom and foresight to recognize a good business opportunity as a mayor). ‘Nuff said.’
Please Rhody. We’re not stupid. The “economic opportunity” was and is merely diversionary BS to mask the real intent, which is to use Massachusetts as a homosexual Las Vegas to bring out of state folks in to get “legally marriage” so that they could go back to their home state and file suit to try to force those states into recognizing homosexual marriage by judicial activism.
Nobody in their right minds really believes that encouraging 2-3% of the population, from which few will actually want to marry, to fly in and get married is going to create any great economic boom, particularly when the agenda is to make this perversion of marriage “legal” in all 50 states, which if it occurs will nullify any reason to travel to MA to get hitched.

Harry Handout
Harry Handout
12 years ago

For the past eight years or so, my work has required me to travel to New Hampshire about two times per month. Since then, I have purchased NOTHING taxable by the State of R.I. over $5.00, to take advantage of NH’s 0% sales tax. I refuse to do anything to contribute to this state’s benefit. I have saved several thousand dollars over the years. We are using this saved money to put away for our children’s college education. I pay for everything in cash, so there will be no record of these transactions, to ensure that RI won’t get me for the use tax.
I purchased my car there last year, and saved a little more than $3,000 on the sales tax, and, because it is registered there, I pay no yearly city property tax, which would have been about $1,200.
As a way of thanking the State of NH for saving me all of this money, I send my charitable donations to NH organizations, and give absolutely nothing to any RI charity. This is how much I hate what my home state is doing to its own residents. Unfortunately, the only way to save our state is to contribute to its downward spiral, until things get so so bad that the government has no choice but to make the necessary changes.
Fortunately, my family and I won’t be living here much longer anyway. I feel sorry for those who will be staying.

rhody
rhody
12 years ago

Ragin, don’t complain about Rhode Island’s economic problems out of one side of your mouth while naysaying a valid economic development idea out of the other. If you want to put your money where your mouth is, don’t shop in Massachusetts (or any other state where gay marriage or civil unions are approved). But then again, does the high price of gas make a trip to Utah or Mississippi for a new TV or lawn mower worthwhile?
I do get a kick, however, out of the denizens of a conservative blog opting to spend their money in more liberal states than Rhode Island. 🙂

Anthony
Anthony
12 years ago

It’s really just ludicrous to compare Bob Walsh with the Nazis.
Walsh is just doing his job. Any first year political science student knows about pluralism.
The free exchange of varied ideas and thoughts by interest groups is key to forging compromises that allow our republic to function.
It’s the job of the Governor, the General Assembly and ultimately voters to watch out for the best interests of the state.
Unfortunately, certain special interests have disproportionate influence. While Carcieri has tried to stand up to special interests (sometimes successfully, sometimes unsuccessfully), the General Assembly abdicates its responsibilty.
The electorate has a couple of options. It can accept the status quo, work to change it or leave the state.
Just as I support school choice because parents can vote with their feet if they feel that public education is failing the children, the same applies to Rhode Island. Thousands have chosen to leave the state. Eventually, the state will be forced to make changes.
Mu

George Elbow
George Elbow
12 years ago

Anthony,
Easy there. In the words of our resident mensa club member, Rhody, you’ve committed a non sequitur.
I was NOT and would not compare Chairman Mao, I mean Bob Walsh, to the Nazis.
Ole Bobby truly believes in and is passionate in what he is doing, as he is a Socialist to the core.
He would never simply say “I am / was just doing my job”, as Socialism, Entitlements, non-competion, dependancy, anti-Free Market, anti-merit and redistributing wealth from those that produce to those that consume are Bob’s core beliefs. He is proudly passionate about them.
Now, just because Bobby is a Socialist pig does not mean what he is doing is right (no matter how much the fool believes it is).
I was admonishing naive Phil, not Bob, who was giving Bob an elpaso with the BS excuse “He’s just doing his job”.
With respect to your Pluralism agrument – would you say that the cards are just a bit stacked on the side of the Union hacks? Would you agree that we are at a bit of a disadvantage due to the fact that while we are busy working and producing, the Bob Walsh’s of the world are busy hanging around the State house like a spider, convincing their servants to kill Voter Initiative, Pension Reform, Collective Bargaining Reform, etc.
Easy to say the voters need to do something, but when most people are busy actually working to pay for all of Bob’s Entitlements, it is hard for them to get organized or to pay attention long enought to know exactly who it is that is screwing them.

Bob Walsh
Bob Walsh
12 years ago

If AR is serious about editing the anonymous George Elbow’s off-topic, rude and/or threatening comments, please see above. His obsession has gone beyond any reasonable bounds, and needs to be addressed.
By this post, I am asking that from this point forward, any and all references to me by George Elbow, or any other alias he chooses to use, be immediately deleted.

Show your support for Anchor Rising with a 25-cent-per-day subscription.