Rhode Island State Tax Guide

State tax rates and rules for income, sales, property, fuel, cigarette, and other taxes that impact Rhode Island residents.

Bottom Line

Middle-Class Families: Mixed Tax Picture (Go to the Kiplinger Tax Map for Middle-Class Families)

Retirees: Not Tax-Friendly (Go to the Kiplinger Tax Map for Retirees)

Many residents of the Ocean Tax are drowning in property taxes. The statewide median property tax rate in Rhode Island is the 15th-highest in the U.S.

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Income taxes in Rhode Island are generally "average" when compared to other states, but seniors pay tax on their Social Security benefits if their federal adjusted gross is too high.

Sales taxes in the state are actually a little below average. However, while Rhode Island's income and sales tax bites are modest, they have a hard time countering the high property taxes.

Plus, Rhode Island has an estate tax (it's also one of only three states that tax estates worth less than $2 million).

Rhode Island Income Taxes

Rhode Island Income Tax Range

Low: 3.75% (on up to $68,200 of taxable income)

High: 5.99% (on taxable income over $155,050)

For 2023, the 3.75% rate applies to the first $73,450 of taxable income, while the 5.99% rate applies to taxable income over $166,950.

Rhode Island Taxation of Social Security Benefits

For the 2022 tax year, Social Security benefits are not taxed for joint filers with a federal adjusted gross income of $119,750 or less, and other taxpayers with federal AGI of $95,800 or less (thresholds for the 2023 tax year are not available yet). For taxpayers exceeding these thresholds, Social Security benefits are taxed by Rhode Island to the same extent they are taxed at the federal level.

Rhode Island Tax Breaks for Other Retirement Income

Taxpayers who have reached full retirement age can exclude up to $15,000 of income ($20,000 starting in 2023) from private, government, or military retirement plans (not including IRAs). For the 2022 tax year, federal adjusted gross income cannot exceed $119,750 for joint filers and qualifying widow(er)s, or $95,800 for all other taxpayers (thresholds for the 2023 tax year are not available yet).

Beginning in 2023, military retirement income is exempt from tax. However, this exemption and the general retirement plan exemption can't exceed the amount of military retirement income received in the tax year.

Railroad Retirement benefits are fully exempt.

Rhode Island Sales Tax

7% state levy. No local taxes.

  • Groceries: Exempt
  • Clothing: Exempt if under $250
  • Motor Vehicles: Taxable
  • Prescription Drugs: Exempt

Rhode Island Real Property Taxes

In Rhode Island, the median property tax rate is $1,298 per $100,000 of assessed home value.

Rhode Island Property Tax Breaks for Retirees

For the 2022 tax year, homeowners 65 and older with household income of $35,000 or less can get a state income tax credit of up to $600 for property tax relief. To qualify for the credit, you must have been a full-time resident of Rhode Island for the entire tax year, and you must be current on your property tax payments. Cities and towns can offer a property tax exemption or similar property tax break for seniors.

Cities and towns can also create a property tax credit of up to $1,500 for people at least 60 years old who provide volunteer services for the city or town. The credit must be calculated by multiplying the number volunteer hours by the state minimum wage.

Rhode Island Motor Fuel Taxes

Gasoline: 35¢ per gallon.

Diesel: 35¢ per gallon.

Rhode Island Sin Taxes

Cigarettes and little cigars: $4.25 per pack

Snuff: $1 per ounce

Cigars: 80% of the wholesale price with a $0.50 per cigar cap

Other tobacco products: 80% of the wholesale price

Beer: $0.11 per gallon

Wine: $1.40 per gallon

Liquor: $5.40 per gallon

Alcohol purchases are exempt from sales tax.

Marijuana: 10% state excise tax, 3% local excise tax, plus general sales tax

Rhode Island Estate and Inheritance Taxes

Rhode Island has an estate tax with a 2023 exemption amount of $1,733,264. Rates range from 0.8% to 16%.

Rocky Mengle
Senior Tax Editor, Kiplinger.com

Rocky was a Senior Tax Editor for Kiplinger from October 2018 to January 2023. He has more than 20 years of experience covering federal and state tax developments. Before coming to Kiplinger, he worked for Wolters Kluwer Tax & Accounting and Kleinrock Publishing, where he provided breaking news and guidance for CPAs, tax attorneys, and other tax professionals. He has also been quoted as an expert by USA Today, Forbes, U.S. News & World Report, Reuters, Accounting Today, and other media outlets. Rocky has a law degree from the University of Connecticut and a B.A. in History from Salisbury University.