§ 44-18-18.1 Local meals and beverage tax. (a) There is hereby levied and imposed, upon every purchaser of a meal and/or beverage, in addition to all other taxes and fees now imposed by law, a local meals and beverage tax upon each and every meal and/or beverage sold within the state of Rhode Island in or from an eating and/or drinking establishment, whether prepared in the eating and/or drinking establishment or not and whether consumed at the premises or not, at a rate of one percent of the gross receipts. The tax shall be paid to the tax administrator by the retailer at the time and in the manner provided.
(b) All sums received by the division of taxation under this section as taxes, penalties or forfeitures, interest, costs of suit and fines shall be distributed at least quarterly, credited and paid by the state treasurer to the city or town where the meals and beverages are delivered.
(c) When used in this section, the following words have the following meanings:
(1) "Beverage" means all nonalcoholic beverages, as well as alcoholic beverages, beer, lager beer, ale, porter, wine, similar fermented malt or vinous liquor.
(2) "Eating and/or drinking establishments" mean and include restaurants, bars, taverns, lounges, cafeterias, lunch counters, drive-ins, roadside ice cream and refreshment stands, fish and chip places, fried chicken places, pizzerias, food and drink concessions, or similar facilities in amusement parks, bowling alleys, clubs, caterers, drive-in theatres, industrial plants, race tracks, shore resorts or other locations, lunch carts, mobile canteens and other similar vehicles, and other like places of business which furnish or provide facilities for immediate consumption of food at tables, chairs or counters or from trays, plates, cups or other tableware or in parking facilities provided primarily for the use of patrons in consuming products purchased at the location. Ordinarily, eating establishments do not mean and include food stores and supermarkets. Eating establishments do not mean "vending machines," a self-contained automatic device that dispenses for sale foods, beverages, or confection products. Retailers selling prepared foods in bulk either in customer-furnished containers or in the seller's containers, for example "Soup and Sauce" establishments, are deemed to be selling prepared foods ordinarily for immediate consumption and, as such, are considered eating establishments.
(3) "Meal" means any prepared food or beverage offered or held out for sale by an eating and/or drinking establishment for the purpose of being consumed by any person to satisfy the appetite and which is ready for immediate consumption. All such food and beverage, unless otherwise specifically exempted or excluded herein shall be included, whether intended to be consumed on the seller's premises or elsewhere, whether designated as breakfast, lunch, snack, dinner, supper or by some other name, and without regard to the manner, time or place of service.
(d) This local meals and beverage tax shall be administered and collected by the division of taxation and unless provided to the contrary in this chapter, all of the administration, collection, and other provisions of chapters 18 and 19 of this article apply.
In recognition of the work being performed by the Streamlined
Sales and Use Tax Governing Board, upon any federal law which requires remote
sellers to collect and remit taxes, effective the first (1st) day of the first
(1st) state fiscal quarter following the change, the rate imposed under §
44-18-18.1 shall be one and one-half percent (1.5%).
(P.L. 2003, ch. 376, art. 7, § 9; P.L. 2004, ch. 498, § 1; P.L. 2006, ch. 246, art. 30, § 9; P.L. 2011, ch. 151, art. 19, § 26.)