News & Commentary

  • CommentaryPhoto of Proposed Charter Changes to Benefit Taxpayers

    Proposed Charter Changes to Benefit Taxpayers

    Last week your Charter Review Commission (CRC) published the first draft charter language to address the anticipated $3 million (minimum) casino gaming revenue. The draft uses [brackets] to indicate where the commission still needs to make decisions and is available to view at tivertonfactcheck.org and http://www.tiverton.ri.gov/boards/charterreview.php. One proposal would: Place 75% into the general fund where voters could reduce taxes at the annual FTR vote ($2.25 million minimum annually); Place 25% into a “restricted” Capital Improvement Fund (CIF) ($750 thousand minimum annually); Use CIF funds only for “capital” expenditures as defined therein; Ensure that the 25% CIF funding and CIF expenditures are separate from the annual municipal or school operational budgets; Ensure flexibility so that CIF expenditures can address the towns future capital needs; and Require FTR voter approval for any (and all) CIF expenditures. This direct voter approval of the CIF expenditures is the same empowerment the FTR has given to voting taxpayers to control their taxes and is the only way to ensure that townspeople approve of CIF expenditures and that town officials are prevented from “shopping at the candy store.” A recently published calculation shows that the entire $3 million combined with the $1 million plus anticipated casino real estate taxes would lower the average tax bill by 11.6% and this only assumes the $3 million minimum, while the actual could be higher, perhaps much higher. Other options of the proposed charter draft language rebate (or refund) either 75%, or 100%, of the casino revenue directly to…

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  • Photo of A Plastic Bag Ban and the Abuse of Power

    A Plastic Bag Ban and the Abuse of Power

  • Photo of Building and Zoning When the Town Council Doesn’t Act on Broad Agreement

    Building and Zoning When the Town Council Doesn’t Act on Broad Agreement

  • Photo of New Owner of Brayton Point Announced

    New Owner of Brayton Point Announced

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