Block Island Times

Tourism revenue on Block for the summer of 2020: “Amazing.’

Despite dire predictions last spring, Block Island Tourism Director Jessica Willi called the results of the tourism season on the island: “A little bit amazing.” The R.I. Department of Revenue has just released its report on collections of hotel taxes and meals and beverage taxes, and on Dec. 16, Willi got the members of the council up to speed at their monthly meeting.
If one had the impression that September was busier on the island than ever, one would be right. The local one percent hotel taxes collected for September, which include rental homes, was actually 54.5 percent higher in 2020 than in 2019, at $39,475.
The year-to-date numbers — July through September — tell a slightly different story, with an overall decrease in hotel tax revenues of 16.8 percent. This was much better than expected and Block Island was the outlier in the state. Newport saw a decrease of 20.4 percent, and the state as a total was down 30.5 percent.
In other news from upstate, Willi said that the general budget had just been passed and there were no changes to the formula that determines just how much of those collected taxes the town and the

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