Providence’s budget cuts the fire chief’s salary

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PROVIDENCE — Mayor Jorge Elorza on Friday signed the final city budget of his term at a time when home values ​​will mean higher taxes for residents.

The $568 million fiscal year 2023 budget lowers the residential tax rate to $17.80 per $1,000 of appraised value and the commercial tax rate to $35.40 per $1,000.

According to Elorza, once the new tax rates take effect, Providence will have the lowest property taxes in almost the entire state.

“To all the councilmen and to everyone out there who must have heard, ‘Oh, we can’t afford to buy a house in Providence. The tax rates are too high’, that’s not true at all,” the mayor said.

Elorza said his government has brought about the first eight-year period of no tax hikes in at least seven decades.

But that doesn’t mean residents won’t end up with a bigger tax bill. The city’s in-house auditor found that residential property values ​​have risen an average of 46% since the last revaluation, while commercial property values ​​have risen by 15%.

Check out the budget highlights here:Mayor Jorge Elorza unveils Providence’s budget proposal with a 4% increase in the tax levy

Read Council members’ concerns here:Providence City Council adopts new tax rates despite housing concerns

The fire chief’s salary was cut

A major change in next year’s budget is the elimination of the fire chief’s salary, a position that Public Safety Commissioner Steven Paré has held in an acting capacity since 2015.

Elorza resisted the defunding, calling it “some kind of ongoing dispute,” but made peace with the budget despite the council’s decision.

“I think in this final budget some things have changed for accounting reasons, but nothing changes in terms of public safety service delivery,” he said.

Council President John Igliozzi, who highlighted his past differences with the mayor, delivered a message of unity.

“We don’t always agree on everything,” said Igliozzi. “But there’s one thing we always agree on: we’re trying to do what’s best for the city of Providence.”

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