MAYOR ANGEL TAVERAS proposed no tax increases in his fiscal 2015 budget, although he would like the city to spend 2.4 percent more in the coming year to fund 60 new police officers and 55 new police vehicles, among other things.
PROVIDENCE – Mayor Angel Taveras unveiled a $678.4 million city budget proposal for fiscal 2015 Tuesday that would maintain the current residential and commercial tax rates.
The budget would raise total spending, including schools, 2.4 percent from the current fiscal year. The school budget would rise 2.3 percent.
In a speech introducing the budget to the City Council, Taveras touted the steps he has taken since entering office in 2011 to stabilize city finances after the financial crisis and close a $110 million structural deficit.
“We have taken control of Providence’s finances,” Taveras said. “Last year we went from budget deficit to budget surplus. We expect to end this year with a balanced budget for the second year in a row.”
Helping balance the budget, the city is projecting a 1.3 percent increase in tax collections mostly from tangible tax receipts.
If the budget is approved, it would mark the third consecutive year commercial tax rates did not rise. Last year the city increased residential rates.
To deal with some of the city’s outdated school buildings, Taveras proposes borrowing $10 million for school capital improvements. His budget would provide bus service to students living 2 miles or more from a school instead of 2.5 miles.
Other budget highlights include:
Contributing $3.2 million toward the remaining $9.8 million deficit from previous years.
$200,000 in new funding for libraries
100 percent funding of the city’s Annual Required Contribution to its pension fund.
Funding for 60 new police officers and 55 new police vehicles.