PROVIDENCE, R.I. - As part of her continuing effort to make it easier and less expensive to do business in Rhode Island, Governor Gina M. Raimondo today met with business leaders at Amica to hear how the elimination of the sales and use tax on commercial energy is putting money back into the pockets of local companies.
"I am focused everyday on how we can work together to create jobs," said Raimondo. "A key component to that mission is making it easier and less expensive for our companies to operate here. Eliminating this tax will put over over $20 million this fiscal year back in their pockets for investment and growth."
Over 70,000 Rhode Island businesses are expected to save over $20 million annually combined. Specifically, Amica Insurance is anticipating over $80,000 in savings for the year. With this move, Rhode Island now has one of the lowest tax rates on commercial energy use in the Northeast.
"The House is committed to improving our state's economy and our job climate," said Representative Raymond Gallison. "We will continue to work closely with Governor Raimondo to assist the business community and keep our economy moving forward with bold actions like eliminating the state sales and use tax on utility expenses for all businesses."
"This change helps Rhode Island businesses save on their energy costs, so they can invest in and grow their business here. I applaud the governor for introducing the phase out and I'm happy the legislature was able to find the additional resources to eliminate the tax immediately," said Senator Ryan W. Pearson, who is secretary of the Senate Finance Committee. "We share the Governor's desire and commitment to continue moving Rhode Island in the right direction. Together with our house colleagues we will continue to work on creating jobs and growing our economy."
"By doing away with this energy tax, Amica Insurance anticipates some significant savings," said Paul Pyne, Executive Vice President and Chief Operations Officer of Amica Insurance. "This money can be reinvested in our company to create more economic growth in the years ahead. We appreciate the opportunity to work closely with the state to move Rhode Island's economy forward."
"A strong economic climate that keeps existing businesses here, while attracting new businesses, will benefit all Rhode Islanders," said John Gregory, President of the Northern Rhode Island Chamber of Commerce. "The elimination of this energy tax is already helping many of the Chamber members and is a great pro-business measure by Governor Raimondo and the General Assembly."
Rhode Island non-manufacturing commercial businesses continue to pay a public utilities gross earnings tax (4 percent for electricity and 3 percent for natural gas), which is lower than both Massachusetts and Connecticut, who continue to collect a sales tax on non-manufacturing commercial businesses.