Friday, May 23, 2008

Tiverton's Tax Revolt

Today's Projo' s Gina Macris runs a good summary of Tiverton's budget woes, along with Tom Dalglish at the Sakonnet Times. At a recent town financial meeting, the proposed budget was soundly defeated. This translates into two million dollars needing to be trimmed from the proposal.

Contributing to the town's woes are the debt service (a million dollars) for the recent school bond. Adding even more woe is the recent cut to the towns & cities budget courtesy of the guv & Lege which resulted in the loss of aother million dollars.

The town is unable to cut it's school budget to less than last year's unless it wants to go to court for a Caruolo hearing- which is will lose. It's reserve fund is down to the Charter's minimum requirement- 3%.

It's required that the budget meeting be reconvened next week, but it's unlikely that a new budget can be finalized by then. The irony is that almost a million dollars of its reserved fund is being utilized this year to lower the tax rate. Reduced state aid (plus school overrung costs) just never made it to the agenda when the school bonding was proposed in 2004. Combine this with a downturn in the economy & a recet re-evaluation & you've got a powder keg situation. Oh, & throw in the recent teacher strike for good measure (they still have no contract) and you've got the perfect storm.
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