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 has been the Owner & Publisher of What's Up Newp since 2012. He also currently works for Mountain News, where he serves as Senior Editor - North America for OnTheSnow. He previously worked for the New England Patriots and American Cancer Society. He currently serves as Vice President of Fort Adams Trust and is a member of Local Independent Online News (LION) Publishers and North American Snowsports Journalists Association (NASJA).