Sen. Lawson introduces bill eliminating sales tax on face masks


            STATE HOUSE – Sen. Valarie J. Lawson (D-Dist. 14, East Providence) has introduced a bill which eliminates the sales tax on cloth or disposable face masks and facial coverings.

            “As much as we all want it to end, the COVID-19 pandemic is still with us and we must make it as easy as possible for our residents to protect themselves from the virus.  Since there is only so much supply of free masks, we have to remove the barriers to wearing these masks effectively, which means using them once as intended.  By removing the sales tax on these items, we can ease the financial cost for families protecting themselves and their loved ones from COVID-19,” said Senator Lawson.

            The legislation (2022-S 2065) amends current state law by including cloth or disposable face masks and facial coverings sold at retail establishments to the general public under the “clothing” statute in the state’s tax laws.  Effected in 2012, Rhode Island currently exempts sales tax on clothing and shoes up to $250.

            The bill has been referred to the Senate Finance Committee.