Senate Bill 669, AN ACT RELATING TO TAXATION — REAL ESTATE CONVEYANCE TAX, which would authorize the city of Newport to impose an additional two percent (2%) real estate transfer tax, has been scheduled for a hearing and/or consideration on Tuesday, May 21st.

UPDATE: 05/21/2019 – Committee heard and continued this bill. More details to come on the future of this bill.

The bill, which was introduced by Senator Louis DiPalma (Dist. 12 – Little Compton, Middletown, Newport, and Tiverton) and co-sponsored by Senator Dawn Euer (Dist. 13 – Newport, Jamestown) after being supported by the majority of Newport City Council in March, would implement a new real estate tax on real estate sales and transfers.

“I appreciate the feedback I’ve received on this and many other pieces of legislation. The Newport City Council forwarded us a resolution in March requesting the legislation be introduced,” Senator Euer told What’sUpNewp on Monday, May 20th. “This was no surprise, as the topic was discussed during a joint workshop between the General Assembly and the City Council on February 9”.

“As part of the normal Senate process, after introduction, the bill was scheduled for a hearing and will be heard on Tuesday, May 21 in front of the Senate Finance Committee”, Euer continued. “It is my understanding that the City Council is trying to figure out funding options for a variety of critical infrastructure projects. I am committed to working with the City Council, School Committee, and members of the public to find budget solutions to support a strong public school system and high quality of life for all Newporters”.

The Bill: 44-25-1.1. City of Newport supplemental tax authorization.

(a) The city council of the city of Newport may authorize a supplemental tax to be assessed and collected in addition to tax assessed pursuant to § 44-25-1 in all circumstances in which a tax is authorized and assessed pursuant to the provisions of § 44-25-1. 7

(b) The authorized supplemental tax shall not exceed two percent (2%) of the total purchase price. The total purchase price shall mean the aggregate consideration received by the seller, grantor, assignor, transferor or person making the conveyance or vesting.

(c) The payment of tax imposed by the city council of the city of Newport pursuant to this section shall be evidenced by affixing document stamps provided by the city of Newport to every original instrument presented for recording in the same manner as set forth in § 44-25-3.

(d) The tax assessed pursuant to the authorization of this section shall be the obligation of the buyer, grantee, assignee, transferee, or person receiving the conveyance or vesting unless the parties to the transfer provide otherwise in a signed written agreement.

City Council Action On Real Estate Conveyance Tax

This resolution would allow the City to levy an additional tax upon real estate property transfers/sales (not to exceed 2%) of the purchase price.

After quite a long conversation during their March 28th Council Meeting and more than a dozen residents taking the time to speak in front of Newport City Council, this resolution passed 5 – 2 with McCalla, Taylor, Bova, and McLaughlin voting for and Napolitano and Leonard against.

During the City Council discussion it brought up that after there was any introduction and passage at the State House, the resolution would come back before City Council for another discussion, fine tuning, and another vote by Council members.

On The House Side

On the House side of things, Representative Carson (Dist. 75, Newport) has introduced House Bill No. 5973, AN ACT RELATING TO LOCAL REAL ESTATE INFRASTRUCTURE TAX FOR THE CITY OF NEWPORT, which would authorizes the city council of the city of Newport to levy an additional tax upon real property transfers within the city, not to exceed the amount of two percent (2%) of the purchase price.). That bill was introduced and referred to House Finance on April 10th.

Representative Carson tells What’sUpNewp that she has not requested a hearing on the bill at the request of the Mayor.

On The Senate Side

The bill will be introduced during the Senate Committee On Finance meeting at the rise of the Senate after 4:30 pm on Tuesday, May 21 at Room 211 at the State House. The meetings are open to the public.

  • Senate Bill No. 669 (by request)
  • BY DiPalma, Euer
  • ENTITLED, AN ACT RELATING TO TAXATION — REAL ESTATE CONVEYANCE TAX {LC2090/1} (Authorizes the city of Newport to impose an additional two percent (2%) real estate transfer tax.)
  • 03/21/2019 Introduced, referred to Senate Finance
  • 05/17/2019 Scheduled for hearing and/or consideration


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