Burrillville homeowners will likely see small tax increase, budget down by $100K

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BURRILLVILLE – The Burrillville Town Council has approved a fiscal plan for the upcoming year that will see spending decrease by $101,648, but will likely come with a small tax rate increase, due in part to a drop in state aid.

The budget was passed as recommended by Town Manager Michael Wood unanimously, and includes $2.7 million in spending on capital projects, with $1.9 million dedicated to public works. It also restores several municipal positions defunded in the 2021 budget as the town faced the COVID-19 pandemic, such as a deputy control officer.

“The WorkShare program resulted in budgetary savings, which, in turn, allowed the town to retain its staff except those who voluntarily left service or opted for unemployment insurance,” noted a budget memorandum by Wood. “The budget, with a few minor exception, restores most positions to pre-pandemic levels.”

Also added back was a special appropriations budget, which helps to fund local events such as the Burrillville Arts Festival, and programs such as Aging Well, at a total cost of $33,929. The senior mini bus service, also cut in 2020, is expected to return in January of 2022, and was funded $13,929 this year.

The plan anticipates the loss of some $725,683 in state funding, a figure that remains subject to change until Rhode Island’s state budget is passed.

“These revenue sources are subject to change by the General Assembly,” noted Wood. “The legislature has not yet finalized the state aid appropriations so future adjustments are probable.”

If state’s fiscal plan passed using the estimates proposed, the town levy will increase by $648,404, or 2 percent, resulting an increase of $146 for the average single family residential property, valued at $274,843.

Motor vehicle taxes, meanwhile, are expected to decrease by $81 per vehicle on average.

The amount allocated to debt service in Burrrillville has increase due to a $7 million school improvement bond passed by voters last year, with a payment of $64,320 going out this year. The town’s allocation for schools, meanwhile, will remain relatively steady, increasing by only $9,300.

“The superintendent supports this recommendation,” noted Wood.

The town’s capital budget includes $250,000 for an overhaul of the police communications center, and $120,000 for police vehicles.  Public Works makes up the bulk of capital spending at $1,338,000, with $175,000 allocated for the repaving of the Well One parking lot, and other high-expense street repairs including $543,000 for Steere Street and $325,000 for North Hill Road.

The complete operating budget, adopted at the Town Council’s meeting on Wednesday, June 9, can be found here.

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