The Senate Finance Committee hearing on S2987, which would increase the meals & beverage tax by 1% (to a total of 9%) in Newport and Middletown only is scheduled for Thursday, May 26, 2016 at 4:30 p.m. in Room 211 at the State House.
This legislation was introduced after Middletown Town Council and Newport City Council passed resolutions asking for the increase.
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 repair.
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 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.