Included in the FY ’21 Budget is Direct Funding for a Crisis Diversion Program
Tonight, the City Council’s Committee on Finance approved the City’s $510 Million Fiscal Year (FY) 2021 budget which will now go to the full Council for vote and passage. Due to the ongoing pandemic, the budget’s spending portion was delayed due to uncertainties around funding from the state and the federal government. The City Council already passed the tax levy in July without an increase in property taxes.
“After nine hours of public testimony, I want the residents of Providence to know that we heard them. We listened to their call for a dedicated crisis intervention team. We ensured that we allocated more funding to Family Services of Rhode Island to increase their ability to provide crisis intervention services when police response is not required. We also ensured that we provided relief to our residents by passing the tax levy with no increase. Yet, when we received the Mayor’s budget in the early part of 2020, we could have never predicted what we were facing as we saw how much our City was affected by the COVID-19 pandemic. It is important to acknowledge that without the COVID Relief Package the City would have had a multi-million-dollar deficit. Yet, the City Council’s finance team and the Administration’s finance team worked tirelessly to make sure that the focus remained on the residents and our businesses and that we would be able to pass a responsible and fiscally prudent budget. There is still more work to do as we look to the FY 2022 budget, and I look forward to continuing advocating for the residents of Providence,” stated Chairman of the Committee on Finance and City Council Majority Whip John J. Igliozzi, Esq.
The FY 2021 budget will provide the actuarially required contribution to the City’s pension fund; it will include funding for quality of life services and ensure that the City meets all its financial obligations and maintains its bond ratings.
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 lost revenues due to the ongoing COVID-19 Pandemic. These are challenging times for every municipality across the country, and we have been grappling with a year-long pandemic and civil unrest, and financial uncertainty. Yet, we must keep the City running and our essential services operational and be good stewards of our precious tax dollars. Further, I am proud that we could allocate additional funding for our Family Service “Go Teams,” which will take some of the police department’s burden when an armed response is not warranted. I want to thank the hardworking members of the Council’s Committee on Finance and the Council’s finance team for helping craft a fiscally responsible budget that ensures the City is meeting its financial obligations and provides for services that are important to a vibrant and culturally diverse city like Providence.”
Budget Initiatives Include:
- No Tax Increase.
- Homestead Exemption remained the same – 40% or $14.74/$1,000.00 of assessed value.
- Non-Homestead Tax Rate remained the same – $24.56/$1,000.00 of assessed value.
- Commercial Tax Rate remained the same.
- Funding for the Providence School Department is funded as proposed by Mayor Jorge O. Elorza at $130 Million.
- Funds Family Services of Rhode Island for the “Go Team” Diversionary Program.
- Creates a grant-funded department to support the American Recovery Act – COVID-19 Stimulus Package of $130 Million.
- Per the Mayor’s request the budget funds:
- The Providence Police Department contractual increases of $2.78 Million – including a 4.5% wage increase.
- Gives non-union and union employees a 2% wage increase.
- Providence Fire Department Received a 2.75% wage increase.
- Ensures that the City will make 100% of its obligated pension payment of $73,494,647.00.
- The City’s “Rainy Day” Fund is increased by $100,000.00 to $15 Million.
To view all budget documents, please visit: https://bit.ly/PVD2021-Budget.