June 8, 2022
Parker Gavigan, Director of Communications
Budget lowers residential property tax rate, raises elderly exemption for seniors, lowers business tangible tax, identifies funds for the Superman building, and calls for the hiring of a full-time fire chief
Tonight, the Providence City Council Finance Committee voted to approve a $568 million FY 2023 city budget that lowers the residential property tax rate to help balance rising home values and the need to fund critical city services. The budget includes public safety funding for a new police academy, adding 50 trained officers to the Providence Police Department. Councilors also approved an increase to the elderly exemption, giving senior citizens a break on their property taxes while other costs of living are dramatically rising. The finance committee also calls for hiring a full-time qualified fire chief.
“Our families are faced with rising inflation costs, from groceries to gas. And while we all appreciate increased home values, it was important for the Council to crunch the numbers and lessen the tax burden on our single-family, multi-family, and elderly homeowners without sacrificing city services,” said Councilwoman and Finance Chair Jo-Ann Ryan. “This collaborative budget puts more police in our neighborhoods and funds diversion programs and social service agencies to help with mental and substance abuses. There is a need for a fire chief in a city the size of Providence. Rank and file firefighters who have not had a chief in 7 years deserve one, and so do our residents,” added Ryan.
“I want to thank Chairwoman Ryan and the Finance Committee for thoroughly vetting this budget. Reducing taxes from the mayor’s proposal, increasing the elderly exemption, and showing the city council is committed to developing the Superman building were important priorities,” said Council President John Igliozzi.
FY 2023 City Budget highlights:
- Residential property tax rate decreased to $17.80 per $1,000 (a decrease from the mayor’s proposal of $18.50 and the current rate of $24.56)
- *On average residential property values increased by 46%, according to the city’s internal auditor. There are 32,124 residential homes in the city.
- Commercial property tax rate decreased to $35.40 per $1,000, lower than the current rate of $36.70 (but an increase from the mayor’s proposal of $33.85)
- *On average commercial property values increased by 15%, according to the city’s internal auditor. There are 5,246 commercial properties in the city.
- Business tangible tax decreased to $53.40 per $1,000 (a decrease from the mayor’s proposal of $55.55 and the current rate of $55.80)
- Elderly tax exemption increased to $600 from $511
- Homestead exemption increased to 45% from the current 40% (matching the mayor’s proposal)
- Deadline for personal tax exemptions is extended from March 15 to December 31 (social security disability, service disability, blind exemption, veteran exemption, indigent exemption)
- Funded a new city police academy
- $5 million has been identified for the development of the Superman building (111 Westminster Street, should the development receive approval by the General Assembly and City Council)
- Provides funding for a full-time qualified fire chief hired at an annual salary of no more than $175,000
- Repurposes approximately $4 million in ARPA funds for small businesses or capital infrastructure improvements in our neighborhoods
The 2023 City Budget will now be presented to the full city council for final approval.