Update as of 10/25/19: the City Council created a “Special Commission for the Study of a Progressive Property Tax”
Update as of 7/15/19: the city budget has been signed by Mayor Elorza, and includes the more conventional property tax structure. City Council leadership stated that while they were unsuccessful this year, they wish to try to make the change to a two-tiered structure again next year.
Update as of 7/3/19: The controversial tax changes are off the table for this year. The Council switched to a more conventional proposal. The mayor has yet to approve it and may veto it, since it is part of a budget that includes some cuts that could be viewed as controversial. See Boston Globe article below. “The budget the council will vote on Wednesday would set one property tax rate — $24.56 per $1,000 of assessed value — for all homes, with a 40 percent exemption going to individuals who live in the properties they own. The proposal means anyone who was already getting a tax decrease under Elorza’s plan would get a larger one now, and residents who were getting a tax increase are getting a slightly smaller increase.”
Original June 2019 Post: SNA hosted a discussion on June 17th regarding the City Council leadership’s proposed property tax changes following the recent mandatory revaluation that occurred. Ward 3 City Councilor Nirva LaFortune shared her understanding and opinion of the situation, and fielded audience questions along with fellow elected officials District 4 State Representative Rebecca Kislak and Ward 1 City Councilor Seth Yurdin. The city must decide on a tax structure soon to tax residential property on their new valuations. There are two proposals in play as of June 18, 2019, each of which would comply with the state mandate that no city or town increase TOTAL taxes by more than 4% in one year: the Elorza administration’s proposal and the City Council leadership’s proposal. We’ll post resources here in an ongoing manner with an eye toward impartial information and statements by our local elected officials. Please share with us via SNAProv@gmail.com if you encounter sources that you think would be helpful to folks.
- Previous FY 2019 Tax Structure:
- Existing Fiscal Year 2019 Tax Rates for Cities and Towns Statewide (R.I. Department of Revenue – Division of Municipal Finance) Providence’s is $18.80 per $1,000 of value for owner-occupied homes; $31.96 per $1,000 of value for non-owner-occupied homes.
- Existing Fiscal Year 2019 Providence Property Tax Exemptions (for senior citizens, veterans, blind, etc.) (City of Providence – Tax Assessors)
- FY 2020 Tax Structure Saga:
- June 6th: Providence seeks to shield poor neighborhoods from property-tax spike (Providence Journal)
- June 13th: Providence Council leaders reveal plan to revamp property taxes (WPRI Channel 12)
- June 16th: District 4 State Representative Rebecca Kislak’s e-mail newsletter
- June 17th: East Siders sound off on City Council tax proposal (WPRI Channel 12)
- June 17th: Ward 3 City Councilor Nirva LaFortune’s e-mail newsletter
- June 19th: Providence Budget Battle — South Side Says It’s Time for East Side to Pay, Igliozzi Looks for Cuts (GoLocalProv – note this outlet does not follow some accepted journalistic practices such as listing the author’s byline, however, the article does provide some information and quotes not available elsewhere)
- New property tax calculator – you can compare what your taxes would be under the mayor’s plan and the City Council leadership’s plan (Web tool developed by local resident Bil Herron) [7/3/19 note: this calculator is for the Council’s controversial proposal prior to 6/26/19 after which they changed tack and released a more conventional plan.]
- June 26th: Controversial Providence tax plan is off the table for this year (WPRI Channel 12)
- July 3rd: In Providence, mayor and City Council just can’t seem to get along (Boston Globe – mentions the tax issue)
- July 9th: Elorza signs $770 million budget; tax bills to go out soon (WPRI Channel 12)
- July 9th: Providence City Council gives final approval to $770-million budget (Providence Journal)
- August 14th: Providence’s richest ZIP code getting biggest tax break, data reveals (WPRI Channel 12)
- August 17th: Nesi’s Notes (see item #6) (WPRI Channel 12)
- September 20th: City Council announcement regarding creation of a special panel to study a progressive tax structure