Photo Credit: Kenneth C. Zirkel |This work is licensed to the public under the Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported License

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

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'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.