Going to break down for you what this new city wide property tax assessment means to you.
The new city wide property revaluation resulted in $400,930,670 more (in property value) for the city to tax.
To calculate that as a % increase, you have to divide the new total taxable property value by the old:
$5,707,205,000 = 7% increase
Using my home as an example...
Our new property tax assessment is 253,300.
Our old assessed value was $234,800
An increase of 18,500 or 7.9%
What we are currently paying:
234.8 X $20.75 (current tax rate) = $4,872.10
How much more we would be paying this year after the reval and with the current tax rate of $20.75 per $1000...
Our new assessed value is 253,300
253.3 X $20.75 = $5,255.98
A difference of $383.88
At the current tax rate, I will be paying $383.88 more per year for property tax.
The last citywide tax assessment revaluation resulted in a tax rate decrease, however, the Mayor increased spending by almost 5%!!!!!
THE MAYOR HAS NEVER DECREASED SPENDING!
THIS IS A MAJOR PROBLEM WHEN A MAYOR CAN'T CONTROL SPENDING, YET TAXPAYERS KEEP TAKING A HIT, SOME MORE THAN OTHERS, SOME SIGNIFICANTLY MORE THAN OTHERS!!
We also see this time around, that many of the waterfront homes had a property reval reduction, we believe due to the massive increases in flood insurance costs.
THE BOTTOM LINE IS, WE DO NOT HAVE ENOUGH COMING IN TO KEEP UP WITH WHAT'S GOING OUT!
We don't have the money to pay for expired grant funding that was used to hire more city employees! Taxpayers are now paying the salaries, pensions and healthcare for positions we cannot afford. We don't have the money to keep hiring more, period! We should be looking at how we can save money and drive business and development here to Warwick, not away!
The more you squeeze people for more, the more revenue the city loses (families and business leave), which is currently the case. The city of Warwick is in the red!!
More is going out than what is coming in to keep up with all of the costs to run the city!
Businesses cannot keep up with THE SQUEEZE.
Homeowners cannot keep up with THE SQUEEZE.
Some takers are taking far too much!
It's unfair, inequitable, irresponsible and it will never lead to things getting better in the city of Warwick!
The "Total Properties With Value Changes" are the properties that have had an increase or a decrease in value. These properties had a 7% average increase.
"Other Properties" include those with no increase in value, those with no previous assessment, and those properties with no current assessment.
These "Other Properties" were not included when calculating the "Total Properties With Value Changes."
The bottom line... 80% of properties in Warwick had an increase in value, 19% had a decrease and 1% had no change.
Is this equitable?
**post edit: please note, under "properties with decreased value, it should state: "median decrease by property -4.35%"
"You don't tell us what we can afford to do, you just tell us what we have to do."
Illegal Alien: A Person Who Has Entered A Country Without Government Permission. Illegal: Against The Law
The progressive Democrat from the sanctuary city of Providence, Representative Anastasia P. Williams, who has been a member of our General Assembly practically since I graduated from high school (1992), states that you're a "bigot" if you oppose giving drivers licenses to illegal aliens. Rep. Williams is also the chairwoman of the Rhode Island Black and Latino Legislative Caucus.
Rep. Williams is working hard on that rhetoric in trying to push her bill, H7610 through the House. The hypocrisy of some progressive Democrats never ceases to amaze me. They're always so quick to label someone else the "bigot" for opposing their agenda.
Representative Williams, a friendly reminder to you...we have LAWS, and they are stated clearly in the United States Constitution. Do you have your own interpretation of Amendment XIV of the United States Constitution other than:
“All persons born or naturalized in the United States, and subject to the jurisdiction thereof, are citizens of the United States and of the State wherein they reside. No state shall make or enforce any law which shall abridge the privileges or immunities of citizens of the united states; nor shall any State deprive any person of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law; nor deny to any person within its jurisdiction the equal protection of the laws.""
The intent of the Framers was to ensure that only citizens of the United States, whether born or naturalized, are granted the rights and privileges that are available in America...this would include the privilege of having a drivers license.
Illegal aliens are law breakers and they will continue to seek sanctuary in the cities that provide the unlawful privileges they are not entitled to in the first place!
According to FAIR (Federation for American Immigration Reform):
Back in 2013, the Black American Leadership Alliance marched in Washington D.C. against the immigration reform bill, which ultimately failed to pass.
"Protesters marched from Freedom Plaza to Capitol Hill, chanting "Kill the bill," "Save our jobs," and "Hey hey, ho ho, the gang of eight has got to go!"
They also penned a letter to Congress which stated (excerpts):
"Illegal immigrants keep African-Americans from employment. If passed, the proposed immigration bill will be costly for all Americans, but will harm black American workers more than any other group..."
"Mass immigration and amnesty puts African-Americans from all walks of life out of work and suppresses wages, causing them to compete with aliens willing to work in poorer working conditions for cheaper pay."
Rep. Williams also stated illegals are paying taxes, as if that's a good thing.
On August 6, 2015 The Washington Times reported:
"The IRS cannot verify that illegal immigrants are who they say they are, the tax agency’s inspector general reported Thursday in a new study that says the government doesn’t have the tools to validate foreign governments’ identifying documents, and could be paying refunds without truly knowing who it’s sending them to.
IRS agents also don’t have enough expertise to know what they’re looking for in the foreign documents illegal immigrants are often submitting to prove their identity and to gain an Individual Taxpayer Identification Number (ITIN), the Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration said."
Social Security Fraud:
"People in the country illegally often use fake or stolen Social Security numbers to get jobs and report wages, as do other people who do not want to be found by the government. Thieves use stolen Social Security numbers to claim fraudulent tax refunds.
The IRS estimated it paid out $5.8 billion in fraudulent tax refunds in 2013 because of identity theft. The head of the Justice Department’s tax division described how it’s done at a recent congressional hearing.
“The plan is frighteningly simple – steal Social Security numbers, file tax returns showing a false refund claim, and then have the refunds electronically deposited or sent to an address where the offender can access the refund checks,” said acting Assistant Attorney General Caroline Ciraolo." (source: PBS.org)
Other FACTS to consider:
I could go on and on pulling excerpts from the litany of sources providing countless, justifiable reasons as to why excessive immigration and especially, illegal immigration, is killing the American economy and American citizen job growth.
Rep. Williams, why don't you spend more of your legislative time focusing on the enforcement of E-VERIFY and cracking down on employers who are also breaking the laws by hiring illegals? That would help our Rhode Island citizens who are unemployed, get a job.
We are a country of laws, start respecting, abiding by and enforcing them!
How well do we know our history? I personally think history should be a mandatory pre-requisite course in order to graduate from high school, especially local history.
As I begin my reading of: “Warwick, A City At The Crossroads” by Donald A. D’Amato, I find it intriguing to learn where Warwick started and where our city is today.
Pg.8 : “The first mayor elected was Pierce Brereton, who had been city solicitor from 1926 to 1932. He was the front runner in the campaign and won easily. In 1932, Warwick was one of the few cities in the state to vote Republican, selecting Brereton and a predominantly Republican council.”
Pg. 9 : “Brereton and the Republican-dominated nine-man council had campaigned on the promise of reducing taxes, and their budget reflected the pledge since the tax rate was reduced from $2.40 to $2.35. Unfortunately, this resulted in a reduction of salaries of all city employees.”
Here we are, eighty-five years later. The city of Warwick’s longest serving “Republican” mayor, Scott Avedisian, unfortunately has never made such a campaign promise.
Excerpts from the Republican National Convention (RNC) tax platform:
Tax Relief to Grow the Economy and Create Jobs: “Taxes, by their very nature, reduce a citizen’s freedom. Our goal is a tax system that is simple, transparent, flatter, and fair.”
Fundamental Tax Principles : “We oppose tax policies that divide Americans or promote class warfare…”
Reining in Out-of-Control Spending, Balancing the Budget, and Ensuring Sound Monetary Policy: “Elected officials have over promised and overspent, and now the bills are due. Unless we take dramatic action now, young Americans and their children will inherit an unprecedented legacy of enormous and unsustainable debt, with the interest alone consuming an ever-increasing portion of the country’s wealth.”
Balancing the Budget: “Cutting spending is not enough; it must be accompanied by major structural reforms, increased productivity, use of technology, and long-term government downsizing that both reduce debt and deficits and ignite economic growth.”
The Republican Party of Rhode Island: (tax platform, excerpt):
"We believe the burden of debt is as destructive to human freedom as subjugation by conquest. Therefore government, at all levels, must exercise fiscal responsibility and budgetary restraint and must work within the confines of its resources and maximize those resources to the greatest advantage of its citizenry."
As the city's 2015 fiscal year is coming to a close, I think it's important that the citizens of Warwick know more about the tax and spend history of Warwick since mayor Scott Avedisian has been in office. The city's budgetary data is available online and the data begins with FY 2004. I had to submit a records request to the City to obtain the property tax rates for fiscal years 2000-2003.
The following timeline will take you through the next 16 years of budgets, tax increases and spending by the Avedisian administration.
Keep in mind, when Scott Avedisian first ran for the mayoral seat back in 2000, he was asked what the single most important issue was to his campaign. Scott Avedisian answered:
"Preserving our quality of life through stable taxes, environmental quality,
and good education. I seek to expand on my work and that of Lincoln Chafee."
~Scott Avedisian, Cranston Herald February 15, 2000
Here’s a tax and spend timeline under Mayor Scott Avedisian's leadership, taken right from his Annual Budget Addresses (excerpts) for fiscal budget years 2004-2016:
May 17, 2004 Budget Address: (5th budget submitted)
“We are faced with the challenge of adequately balancing the needs of taxpayers…we must all strive toward the goal of dramatically reducing the tax rate.”
*(Note: the city made a 3.18% increase in revenue off of property tax increases, and withdrew $1.7 million from city savings to balance the budget).
May 12, 2005 Budget Address:
“Fundamental change and serious realignment of city government to better serve our residents, and, in the long run, to ease the burden on our taxpayers.”
May 17, 2006 Annual Budget Address:
“The great responsibility that the taxpayers of this city have given to me, the CityCouncil and the School Committee; that careful stewardship of our city’s finances for the past six years are paying dividends; and the many positive developments we are seeing as a city.”
May 16, 2007 Budget Address: (recession):
“Each year, there have been challenges and opportunities. Each year, there have been initiatives that I would like to include but have not been able to do so due to financial constraints. Each year, there have been those in our city happy with my decisions and those unhappy with my decisions.”
May 16, 2008 budget Address:
“This has been more complicated than other years. Many outside influences have caused us to reassess the work that we do here in our community. The headlines all around us warn of recession, foreclosures, layoffs, and other fiscal downturns. “
May 13, 2009 Budget Address:
"This budget process has been the most difficult one that I have undertaken. Many outside influences have caused us to reassess the work that we do here in our community… Little did anyone know at that time that our nation was heading for what most people believe is the worst economic downturn since the Great Depression.”
May 17, 2010 Budget Address:
"I submit my 11th budget to the City Council and the people of this great City with tremendous trepidation for the future.”
Mayor Avedisian stated:
“It should be noted that in FY09, the Governor (Carcieri) proposed a mid-year elimination of the general revenue Sharing (GRS) program to all RI cities and town amounting to $55 million. The City of Warwick’s reduction would have been $4,046,499. Ultimately, that March, the GA passed a supplemental budget that restored some municipal aid but still reduced the City’s GRS payment by over $2.2 million and allocated nothing in the current year. Balancing the state budget shortfalls on Rhode Island’s municipalities seems to have become a constant theme.”
May 17, 2011 Budget Address:
“The economic downturn has been compounded by the 2010 floods…The combination of these extraordinary events has resulted in a sizable reduction in the City’s commercial tax base and a mid-year loss of local tax revenue. The effect of these events in the upcoming fiscal year is a loss of approximately $6 million in revenue from the commercial tax base.”
May 17, 2012 Budget Address:
“ The FY2012 budget was prepared under three overriding premises: that revenue and expenditure estimates should be realistic, that core services be retained and that any tax increase be distributed among all taxpayers.”
May 14, 2013 Budget Address:
"So while there are still issues that we must remain vigilant about, there have been many positive developments to celebrate and many reasons to be optimistic about the future of this community."
*Note: recall above that “moratorium on bonded debt”… The Potowomut Fire station ended up costing an additionl $1.1 million to build which doesn’t include other furnishing expenditures. $400,000 was used from bonus payouts that the WFD declined, another $300,000 was pulled from the city’s budgeted FEMA account and another $400,000 was pulled from the city's Capital Budget.
May 17, 2014 Budget Address:
"While challenges remain, these are all signs that good things are happening- and continue to happen- in our community.”
(Recall that $800,000 city employee bonus payout)
May 13, 2015 Budget Address:
Mayor Avedisian opens up with almost 5 pages (longest budget achievement list ever) of accomplishments throughout the city. From Apponaug to Airport Rd., the new fire station, investing in new ambulance rescue apparatus and police, public works and Transwick vehicles, to finally getting around to budgeting $1 million for road repaving.
Avedisian touted the Leviton development project, a new office park on Metro Center Blvd., a Dean Warehousing Corp. Warwick facility, a Coastway Community Bank, and approving 15 loans to small businesses totaling $2.5 million. Also projects underway in the historic villages of Apponaug and Pontiac with the Pontiac mills property phase I of development beginning during the summer of 2015, runway expansion at T.F. Green, and good infrastructure.
“From neighborhood parks, to recreational facilities at Bend Street, City Park and other locations, terrific beaches and marinas, gold courses and our ice rinks and pools, Warwick offers a number of recreational opportunities for people of all ages to enjoy.”
*NOTE: when property values decrease, so does the amount that is taxable by the city, therefore reducing city revenue. The only options to counter this are to reduce spending, and/or increase taxes or find other ways to generate new revenue.
Mr. D'Amato defined Warwick as being a "City At The Crossroads" based off it's geographic location, pg. 11: "With the airport, interstate highways, and rail service, New York is easily reached, as are the ski slopes of the Northern states. Warwick is truly at "the Crossroads of New England."
I see Warwick today at another kind of crossroad, one that has the city in a crisis situation, where critical decisions must be made. The most important issues Mayor Avedisian held close to his heart when he ran back in 2000 unfortunately have never come to fruition. It seems to me that the Mayor got lost on the political roads years ago and has never returned.
History always reveals, the numbers never lie.
Look to the Earned Income Tax Credit To Truly Help Lower Income Families And Childless Workers In RI
Here comes Governor Raimondo, and will it be Senator Erin Lynch of Warwick alongside her once again, looking to raise the job killing minimum wage?
The better option is the EARNED INCOME TAX CREDIT that actually helps low and moderate income working families, with or without children .
Read the 5 FACTS ABOUT THE EITC here.
Rhode Island needs to increase the tax credit for childless workers as approximately 47,000 childless workers in RI are not yet eligible for the EITC.
Raising the minimum wage alone doesn't cut it!
According to the NCPA (National Center For Policy Analysis):
"Many who would benefit from a minimum wage increase are not poor:
Thirty-four percent of workers who would see their wages increase live in a household making three times the poverty level, of $72,750 for a family of four.
Almost 60 percent of the new minimum wage workers live in households with incomes twice the poverty level or higher, or $48,500 for a family of four. In contrast, the EITC supports the working poor in a much more targeted way: Two-thirds of those benefiting from the earned income tax credit earn less than 1.5 times the poverty level. This includes a single parent earning less than $24,000 a year or a single person earning $17,000 or less."
Study after study shows that an increased credit for childless workers, along with a higher federal minimum wage ( $7.25 is the min wage requirement & RI is ranked as one of the top 10 states in the nation already having the highest minimum wage at $9.60), is considered the best possible policy option for making sure our state's lower-income workers are earning enough to support themselves and their families.
Increasing the minimum wage yet again, which would only drive up business operation costs and ultimately lead to more loss of jobs, is not the answer to help our low income workers. Rhode Island policy makers need to expand the EITC to childless workers, and if anything else, increase the credit!
Center on Budget and Policy Priorities:
Working on putting this little puzzle together but this is what is known so far.
The House of Hope Boutique located on the 3188 Post Rd property in Warwick-- directly across the street from the Warwick City Hall complex-- is closing due to "Apponaug rotary construction".
This property was sold back in 2009 to THOMAS WILBUR HOMESTEAD INC for $180,000.
"Originally a Baptist meeting house established in 1744, the Thomas Wilbur Homestead, which was designed to preserve the historic character of the property, now offers five families permanent homes and supportive services such as case management, benefits assistance and life skills classes. Located at 3188 Post Rd. in Warwick, the property also includes the House of Hope CDC’s administrative offices and headquarters." ~RIHousing .org
(basically a non profit that offers section 8 housing)
This property owes what it looks like so far, almost $12,000 ($11,765.24) in back taxes to the city of Warwick which does not include interest. The current interest payment that is due is $980.44 for this one address: 3188 Post Rd in Warwick.
According to Singleaudit.org, the Chief Executive Officer of the non profit, Thomas Wilbur Homestead , Inc. is Jean Johnson...Executive Director and founder of House of Hope.
More to come...