Save Big on Taxes! Find out in, "Border Wars: A Taxing Issue!" - ABC6 - Providence, RI and New Bedford, MA News, Weather

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Save Big on Taxes! Find out in, "Border Wars: A Taxing Issue!"

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by Mark Curtis ABC6 Chief Political Reporter 

mcurtis@abc6.com 

Counting up how much you pay in taxes, may prompt you to drown your sorrows.

And if you buy your booze in Massachusetts, you get a real deal.

Justine Cavaco is a border-hopping shopper and said, "I am from Barrington, Rhode Island and I come to Seekonk to buy my liquor because of the taxes. There are no taxes here in comparison to Rhode Island."

If you buy a $20 dollar bottle in Massachusetts every week for a year, you'll save $72.80 on taxes you would have paid in Rhode Island

The savings don't end there.

We found a young Rhode Island couple shopping for furniture in Massachusetts. Why?

Because Rhode Island has a 7 percent sales tax, and Massachusetts, may drop its to 4.5 percent.

Brooke Freidrich is furnishing a new apartment in Rhode Island, but is buying her furniture in Massachusetts.

She said, "We have lots of things to buy and budget and we're both getting our careers started, so saving money and building our future is very important."

Brooke's boyfriend Brad Hertzler said, "Yeah, I would say it would be cheaper, I mean as far as the sales tax goes."

If they buy two–thousand dollars worth of furniture, their tax savings would be $50 bucks.

Over time it all ads up.

Bob Russo is the owner of Furniture Clearance Center in Seekonk, Massachusetts (and also owns stores in East Providence, RI and Cumberland, RI).

Of the tax savings in the Bay State, Russo said, "It makes a big difference especially when you are making a big purchase item like, a big ticket item like we have."

ABC6 Chief Political Reporter Mark Curtis said, "Certainly one of the biggest places we notice price differences between Rhode Island and Massachusetts is when we fill up our cars. And a lot of that has to do with the gasoline tax."

At this station in Seekonk, MA it was $3.35 a gallon.

Just up the road in East Providence, RI, it was 18 cents more per gallon.

The Rhode Island station was empty, but in Massachusetts it was packed.

Russ Lima lives in Rhode Island but fills his gas tank in Massachusetts.

He said, "I want to save 10 to 20 cents (per gallon). That's why. And I haven't far to go. "

In fact if you fill your 20 gallon tank in Massachusetts every week for a year, you'll save over $187 dollars in Rhode Island taxes and fees.

And then, there is the cigarette tax, which is about a dollar more per pack, in the Ocean State.

As with other products, the border hoppers save in Massachusetts.

Fernando Costa lives in Rhode Island, but buys cigarettes for his friend in Massachusetts.

He said, "Because the price is right. The price is much better over here."

So, how much did we save overall?

Well we spent about $10 thousand dollars on furniture, gasoline, liquor and cigarettes.

And we saved almost $700 dollars in taxes by shopping in Massachusetts.

The bottom line, Governor Patrick's proposal to drop the sales tax in Massachusetts, may put pressure on Rhode Island to cut its sales tax, too.

Governor Lincoln Chafee (I-RI) said, "You have to be aware, especially with the Route 6 corridor. It's very important, with North Attleboro (MA) and Pawtucket (RI). It's very important to our competitiveness. We don't want to lose revenue."

Republican lawmakers want cut or even eliminate the Rhode Island sales tax.

So far, there's been no vote in the General Assembly.

 

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