Note to Barrington taxpayers: Bills could be going up

Barrington Town Hall, Barrington, Rhode Island

Barrington Town Hall, Barrington, Rhode Island

Barrington’s property tax rate could jump $.37 next year if school and municipal budget proposals come to fruition.

Town Manager Peter DeAngelis submitted his budget to the town’s appropriations committee on Monday. The municipal budget proposal calls for an increase of $98,024 or .59 percent compared with the current fiscal year while the capital budget proposal is down $169,500 from the current year.

The school department, meanwhile, submitted a budget requesting an additional $1,058,199 in taxpayer money or 2.37 percent.

Overall, the combined municipal, capital and school budget proposals total $59,831,785, an increase of $986,723 or 1.68 percent over the current year, according to Mr. DeAngelis’ proposal.

To support the proposal, the town would need a property tax rate of $18.37, a $.37 jump from the current rate of $18.

For property valued at $300,000, the proposed new tax burden would jump about $111 per year.

Here are some other highlights from the municipal budget:

– Police and fire fighters will receive 2 percent salary increase while public works employees, dispatchers and non-union personnel will receive 2.5 percent raises. All of these raises were negotiated into current collective bargaining agreements in place through 2016. These contracts’ also contain a provision that eliminates other post employment benefits for new hires.

– Debt service will decrease $299,195 compared with the current year.

– Pension costs are scheduled to rise $69,902 or 7.34 percent despite recent state pension reform. Medical insurance is also slated to jump $69,008 or 3.7 percent.

– Computer costs are up $20,402 or 20.31 percent. This increase is primarily driven by an increase in hours for off-site technical support and implementation of a disaster recovery system. The town does not have a dedicated in-house IT person and while discussions are underway to utilize some of the schools’ support staff, a solution hasn’t been reached.

– The budget does not include a $2 million, 10-year road improvement bond as recommended by the planning board, which would add about $260,000 annually to debt service.

– The budget does not include funds for a new or renovated middle school. Early cost estimates of $36 to $39 million for the project would add approximately $2.6 million annually to debt service for 20 years unless the project receives 30 percent housing aid reimbursement that would lower the annual debt service to $1.862 million.

– The budget does not include between $3 million and $5 million for a new community center. Annual debt service for such a project over 20 years would be $350,000 annually.

– The budget does not include funding for a school resource officer. Police Chief John LaCross recommended the position with costs totaling $103,347 to be shared between the town and school department. The budget also does not contain funding for a police accreditation officer.

– The budget does not contain funding for the BAY Team. The organization does not use any local funds though a major five year grant for the group is set to expire on Sept. 30 though the group can re-apply.

– The town’s operating surplus is about half of what it was 11 years ago ($1.6 million down to $879,904).

– The average sewer customer is looking at a $30 increase. Sewer costs are driven primarily by East Providence.

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3 Comments

  1. GaryM said:

    Taxes will go up for those on fixed incomes. The irony is that Barrington’s Town Planner, Phil Hervey, has made a proposal to not fund Barrington’s “Home Repair” Program (funded by HUD and used mostly by those on fixed income) and instead redirect the HUD money to West Elmwood Housing.

    A look at West Elmwood Housing’s IRS 990 form shows that they are doing quite well financially, and improving every year. But West Elmwood wants to do even better, and so our Town Planner has put his support behind them instead of tax paying residents.

    • GaryM said:

      Also left out is the impact from the tax abatement’s for the anticipated Palmer Pointe affordable housing project.

      The developer is marching forward as if those abatement’s are “in the bag”.

      Those abatement’s will ensure the project is an added drain on the town hiking taxes for the rest of us.

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