With an eye toward reducing the City’s cost of living, the City of Newport today issued a press release seeking applicants to serve on a 6-month ad-hoc committee to study tax policies that could help make living in Newport more affordable for year-round residents.

The new Taxation Relief Ad-Hoc Committee, which will be comprised of five members of the public and an equal number of City staff, was created by unanimous vote of the City Council at their June 9th meeting.

The City says that this effort is a continuation of the Council’s exploration of various tax relief strategies over the last several years, which have included ideas such as implementing a homestead exemption for year-round residents and the feasibility of applying a conveyance tax on high end properties.

In addition to hosting public meetings and conducting interviews, the Committee will be charged with collecting data, reviewing ordinances and plans established by other communities, and formulating a report to the Council with its findings and recommendations within six months of first convening.

While Newport currently boasts one of the lowest residential tax rates in the State, and the lowest among communities with K-12 school systems, the cost of living has continued to be among the most challenging issues facing the Council.

Anyone interested in serving on the new Taxation Relief Ad-Hoc Committee are being encouraged to apply by downloading an application at www.CityofNewport.com/applytoserve.

Applicants are asked to include a copy of their resume demonstrating finance-related experience, with preference given to those with an understanding of municipal taxation and real estate.

Applications are due no later than July 1st.

Ryan Belmore is the Owner and Publisher of What's Up Newp. He was born and raised in Rhode Island and graduated from Coventry High School. He serves as Vice President of Fort Adams Trust and serves on the Board of Directors for Potter League for Animals. Ryan also is currently the Senior Editor - North America for Mountain News, publisher of OnTheSnow. Ryan is a member of Local Independent Online News (LION) Publishers and North American Snowsports Journalists Association (NASJA).