News Flash

Town News and Updates

Posted on: May 3, 2021

Budget Season Moves Into Fast Forward

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The Town Council gets a high-level briefing on the proposed fiscal 2022 budget and learns the preliminary tax rate is $12.48 per $1,000 of assessed residential value compared to $16.81 per $1,000 of assessed commercial value.

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE 

CONTACT: Matt Sheley at (401) 712-2221 or msheley@middletownri.com

BUDGET SEASON MOVES INTO FAST FORWARD

MIDDLETOWN, R.I. (MAY 3, 2021) – The municipal budget season officially shifted into high gear tonight in town.

With a little more than three weeks until the first public hearing on the proposed $75.9 million budget, members of the Town Council received a high-level briefing from Town Administrator Shawn J. Brown.

The council has an all-day budget review meeting planned for Saturday, May 8 starting at 8 a.m. from Town Hall to go over all the numbers for the first time. During that session, department heads are expected to brief local leaders on their requested numbers and why the funding is necessary. The link for the meeting is https://us02web.zoom.us/j/86877774139 online.

Public hearings where residents and businesspeople can ask questions and make comments on the budget are slated for May 19 and 26, both at 6 p.m. online through an online Zoom webinar. 

“I think this is a good budget proposal…” Brown said. “We’ve made changes that I think improve the quality of life in Middletown. I think the increases that are proposed really support service levels that the community itself desired to be implemented.”

Facing a tough budget season due to the downturn brought on by the COVID-19 pandemic, town staff forwarded the $75.9 million budget to the council in early April. That figure is a modest $791,000 more than the current $75.1 million budget, or about a 1 percent hike. 

Because of a recent statistical property revaluation, the new proposed residential tax rate is expected to be $12.48 per $1,000 of assessed property value for fiscal 2022, should the proposed budget be adopted. On the commercial side, the proposed tax rate is expected to be $16.81 per $1,000 of assessed value. 

According to figures from the town’s tax department, the current normalized residential tax rate is $12.03 per $1,000 of assessed value compared to $16.24 per $1,000 of assessed commercial value. That means a house assessed at the mean in town of $550,720 could expect to pay $6,873 in taxes in fiscal 2022, if there are no adjustments to the proposed budget. That’s $248 more than the current bill for a similarly valued property, or a 3.6 percent increase. 

For a commercial property valued at the mean in town of $2,212,589 could expect to pay $37,194 in taxes is fiscal 2022, if there are no adjustments to the proposed budget. That’s $1,261 more than the current bill for a similarly valued property, or a 3.5 percent increase.

The council also has time on Monday, May 17 from 6-7 p.m. designated to speak about the budget as well.

Council President Paul M. Rodrigues asked his colleagues to direct questions on the proposed budget to Brown and town finance staff prior to the Saturday, May 8 meeting. That way, the weekend budget session can move smoothly and efficiently. 

Rodrigues said the council is scheduled to adopt the budget on May 26, but the town has until June 30 to complete the process – if necessary.

“I want to make sure everyone is comfortable before we proceed and that we’ve gotten the proper public input,” Rodrigues said.

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