This evening, the Providence City Council’s Finance Committee voted to approve a $539 million FY 2022 City budget that addresses some of the immediate impacts caused to residents, small businesses, and community organizations by the COVID-19 pandemic, while investing in key city services, and holding the line on residential and commercial property taxes.
“In a very difficult environment filled with uncertainty and the continued impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic, I am thankful to have worked collaboratively with my colleagues on the Finance Committee and the Elorza Administration to pass a City budget that invests in our recovery and key City services, while holding the line of property taxes,” said Councilwoman and Finance Chair Jo-Ann Ryan. “Thanks to American Recovery Plan Act stimulus funds, this budget invests over $42 million in COVID-19 relief for our small businesses, community centers, and other projects that will address both immediate needs and pay long term dividends. In addition, I am pleased that this budget invests in public safety, expands Pre-K classrooms, and continues investments in affordable housing.”
“I want to thank the members of the Finance Committee and Mayor Elorza for working so hard to develop a fiscally responsible FY 2022 City budget that will help Providence recover from the COVID-19 pandemic, invests in the services our residents expect, and holds the line on taxes,” said Council President John Igliozzi.
FY 2022 City budget highlights:
- No property tax increases.
- Invests in the Department of Inspections and Standards to deal with quality-of-life issues.
- Invests in the Department of Public Property to hire additional personnel to handle projects in a more efficient and timely fashion.
- Creates a new Department of Equity and Inclusion.
- Invests in public safety.
- Continues to invest in City parks with a portion of Tax Stabilization revenue going to the Parks and Recreation fund.
- Provides an additional $300,000 for Providence Community Centers for programs that qualify for American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) resources.
- Creates a new Community Relations and Diversion Services Major position within the Providence Police Department.
- 10% of tax revenue from projects with a Tax Stabilization Agreement (TSA) will be dedicated to supporting debt service on the $25M Providence Redevelopment Agency Special Obligation Bond that funded the Providence Housing Trust in FY21.
- Invests $350,000 to expand the number of pre-kindergarten classrooms in Providence, increasing access to quality early learning programs.
- Invests ARPA funds for night basketball, recreational center programs for our youths, free internet access at our largest parks and recreation centers, sewer repair fund, and a $7 million small business relief fund.
The FY 2022 City budget now goes before the full City Council for final approval. The Council is expected to approve the budget by July 15.