Critics say Uber, Lyft fail to hand over proceeds of 7 percent sales tax payments to state

Critics of Uber and Lyft say the ride-hailing apps are failing to pay Rhode Island sales tax on their services.

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The General Assembly extended the state's 7 percent sales tax in 2012 to previously exempt automobile ride-for-hire services.

The Providence Journal reports (http://bit.ly/1LNypMX) that Terrence Mercer, associate administrator at the Division of Public Utilities and Carriers and a critic of the ride-hailing companies, said neither Uber not Lyft has registered to file sales tax. That was confirmed last week by Tax Administrator David M. Sullivan.

Uber spokesman Matthew Wing said the company has been holding an undisclosed amount of Rhode Island sales tax collected from local rides, but said it's temporary and the company intends to remit all sales tax eventually.

The newspaper said it could not reach Lyft.

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Information from: The Providence Journal, http://www.providencejournal.com