2020 Budget Has First Passage

Jul 3, 2019 | 0 comments

Providence City Council Votes to Pass the Fiscal Year 2020 Budget
Which Includes a Homestead Exemption to Protect Homeowners

Tonight, the Providence City Council convened for a special meeting for first passage of the 2020 FY budget which will benefit all residents. The City Charter requires there to be two passages before the budget can be formally adopted, and the second and final passage will happen next week.

The FY 2020 budget includes a tax levy ordinance that brings back a homestead exemption (in addition to other exemptions like senior, widow, veteran, etc.) The levy is a flat tax rate of $24.56/per thousand along with a homestead exemption of 40%. Below is the formula to find your proposed tax rate:

(Assessed Property Value – 40%) x $24.56 ÷1,000 = FY2020 Property Tax Bill

The FY 2020 budget will provide the actuarially required contribution to the City’s pension fund; will include funding for quality of life services, increases funding for the Providence School Department, and ensures that the City will meet all of its financial obligations and maintain its bond ratings.

“I am very proud of the work the Council’s Committee on Finance has done on this budget and their thoughtful approach to helping protect our most vulnerable homeowners,” stated City Council President Sabina Matos (Ward 15). “I am also happy that we were able to reach an agreement with Mayor Elorza and his administration. Our goals are the same, we want the best for the City of Providence and by working together we can make real change. We have a lot of work to do to improve quality of life, public safety, and most importantly – to make effective change in our public school system. And I firmly believe that is only going to happen by working together, and although this process took time, we have made great strides and I look forward to working with the Mayor and his team.”

“I have been at the negotiation table numerous times,” stated Chairman of the Committee on Finance Councilman John J. Igliozzi (Ward 7). “This budget season is no different than others – our goal has always been to promote quality of life issues and to protect the tax payer. We worked very hard to help mitigate the tax increases that many of our residents were faced with after their revaluations, and I strongly believe that bringing back the homestead exemption will help nearly every resident. I want to thank my fellow members of the Committee on Finance, my colleagues on the Council who provided spirited discourse and engaged in the process, the Council’s finance team, the City’s Finance Director Larry Mancini, and Mayor Elorza for their efforts in creating a budget that serves all.”

The City Council leadership team continued to meet with Mayor Elorza and members of his team for further negotiations after the budget passed out of the Committee on Finance which resulted in adjustments to the FY 2020 budget. The budget still calls for certain austerity measures, but will provide increased funding for Arts, Culture, & Tourism, reinstates funding for a Providence Fire Chief, and other minor adjustments.

Budget Initiatives Include:

  • Fully funded the school department, and added an additional $1.5M to their budget to address immediate needs.
  • Created a flat tax rate and provides homeowner tax relief by bringing back the homestead exemption.
  • Removed all non-obligated pay raises.
  • Removed all proposed non-obligated new jobs.
  • Level funded almost all programs and departments.
  • Increased funding for summer job programming by $1M, which puts our city’s youth to work to gain experience and provides pathways for future employment.
  • Converted ten temporary assistant recreation director positions into full-time ones, in order to provide the wrap-around services that our students need to succeed.
  • Froze the commercial and tangible tax rates, providing business owners with the certainty they need to prosper.

Vice-Chairwoman of the Committee on Finance and Council Majority Leader Jo-Ann Ryan (Ward 5) stated, “The City Council Leadership team has worked very hard to mitigate the adverse effects of the property revaluation that occurred earlier this year, and I am proud to have been part of the solution. I want to thank the hardworking members of the Council’s Committee on Finance and the Council’s finance team for helping craft a budget that is fiscally responsible, ensures the city is meeting its financial obligations, and provides for services that are important to a vibrant and culturally diverse city like Providence.”

The City Council will hold a special meeting on Tuesday, July 9, 2019 for the second and final passage of the FY 2020 budget.

Budget Breakdown

Revenue Increases
$55,000.00 in additional dumpster fees
$250,000.00 in additional overnight parking permitting fees
$200,000.00 in Providence Place Mall PILOT payment
Total: $505,000.00

Spending Increases
$82,500.00 for Chief Financial Officer (Mayor’s Office)
$532,617.00 to make 10 temporary Assistant Recreation Directors permanent positions to provide wrap-around services that our students desperately need
$35,772.00 for an additional clerk in the Municipal Court
$3,705.00 for maintenance contracts in the City Clerk Departments
Total: $654,594.00

Spending Decreases
$25,000.00 removed for non-contractual pay increases in the Law Department
$82,500.00 was transferred to the Mayor’s office in support of the chief financial officer position, so the funds were removed from the Finance Department
$17,258.00 removed for the non-contractual pay increases for the city collector, deputy city collector, and assistant city collector
$5,250.00 removed the non-contractual pay increase to the deputy assessor
$171,586.00 removed the non-contractual increases to union and non-union members in the IT Department
$400,000.00 removed funding for nine police officers that could not be hired due to lack of a Police Academy in FY2020
$101,467.00 removed salary of director and new workforce development associate (both vacant)
$291,000.00 decrease in seasonal salaries as a result of hiring one full-time recreation center director
$8,200.00 removed the non-contractual increase to the director in the Human Relations Commission
$2,758.00 removed the non-contractual pay increase for the deputy director in Arts Culture and Tourism
$29,530.00 removed non-contractual increases in salaries in the City Council
$50,847.00 removed salary of the stenographic reporter (vacant)
$16,835.00 funded only 9-months of auditor school

Salary Review Commission Decreases
$20,016.00 removed due to not being approved by the Salary Review Commission (Finance Director)
$39,284.00 removed due to not being approved by the Salary Review Commission (Commissioner of Public Safety)

Operational and Technical Decreases
$200,000.00 removed from the police department for a training facility, and travel/training expenses
$100,000.00 removed from the fire department for training academy (not planned)
$225,000.00 was removed to keep advertisements, rentals, and contractual services level funded for the Arts Culture and Tourism department.
$75,000.00 was removed to keep level funding for consultants in the Planning Department (last year they only spent $65K or $200K on consultants)
$160,000.00 was removed to keep building repairs level funded in the Public Property Department
$17,500.00 was removed to keep training and miscellaneous materials level funded in the City Council
$60,000.00 decreased in miscellaneous expenses in the City Archives
$94,500.00 transferred expenses for five Speed Alert Radar Messages to the master lease
$80,016.00 transferred expenses for FATS Simulator to the master lease
$84,489.00 will be removed due to payroll tax associated with the salary decreases

Total: -$2,358,036.00

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