Castle Hill Inn
Castle Hill Inn. Photo provided by Castle Hill Inn.
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Dining in Newport and Middletown may soon cost restaurants or customers 1% more than it does anywhere else in Rhode Island.

On May 10th, Senator Louis P. DiPalma introduced Senate Bill #2987, a bill that would authorize Newport and Middletown to collect an additional one percent meal and beverage tax to fund road and sewer repairs, the bill has been referred to Senate Finance.

A local meals and beverage tax already exists where each and every meal and/or beverage sold within the state in or from an eating and/or drinking establishment is taxed 1%.

Newport City Council and Middletown Town Council have asked Senator DiPalma to introduce the legislation that would approve the additional collection, according to Mayor Jeanne-Marie Napolitano.

Mayor Napolitano tells us that decision to increase the tax came when looking at the upcoming future infrastructure upgrades needed and what it’s going to cost the city, she shared that she believes that Providence and Warwick may also be considering an increase in their local meal and beverage tax.

At their regularly scheduled meeting on April 13th, Newport City Council approved a resolution requesting the RI General Assembly to amend RIGL 44-18-18.1, entitled, “Local meals and beverage tax”. The following resolution was introduced by City Council Members Napolitano, Camacho, and McLaughlin and passed unanimously.

The additional 1% tax is expected to bring in an additional $800,000 in taxes for the City of Newport.

Upon Rhode Island General Assembly passage, the City of Newport and the town of Middletown would be authorized by the State of Rhode Island to collect an additional 1% tax on meals and beverages, the proceeds of which would be used to support sewer system and roadway infrastructure improvements within the municipalities.

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Ryan Belmore is the Publisher of What'sUpNewp. 
Belmore has been involved with What’sUpNewp since shortly after its launch in 2012, proudly leading it to be named Best Local News Blog in Rhode Island by Rhode Island Monthly readers in 2018, 2019, and 2020 and an honorable mention in the Common Good Awards in 2021.

Born and raised in Rhode Island, Belmore graduated from Coventry High School and the Community College of Rhode Island. In addition to living in Newport for 10 years, he has lived in Portsmouth, Coventry, Providence, Smithfield, Burrillville, and East Greenwich.

Belmore currently serves as Vice President of the Board Of Directors for Fort Adams Trust and on the Board of Directors for Potter League For Animals. He previously served on the Board of Lucy's Hearth and the Arts & Cultural Alliance for Newport County.

Belmore and his wife, Jen, currently live in Alexandria, Virginia, a move they made in 2021. Read more about that here -

Belmore visits Newport every couple of weeks to support the 12+ paid contributors What'sUpNewp has on the ground across Rhode Island, a place he called home for 39 years.

Belmore is a member of Local Independent Online News (LION) Publishers, Society of Professional Journalists, and the North American Snowsports Journalists Association.

In 2020, Belmore was named Member of the Year by LION and won the Arts & Cultural Alliance of Newport County's Dominque Award.
Belmore can be contacted at and 401-662-1653.