Newport RI City Hall Broadway

Newport Residents Brace for Tax Hike in Proposed FY2025 Budget

The City of Newport is gearing up for its annual budget process with City Councilors convening this week in a special workshop to deliberate on the proposed FY2025 Budget. The workshop, scheduled for Tuesday, April 23rd, will be followed by a regular session the next day to formally receive the proposed spending plan. Subsequent budget workshops are set for April 29th, 30th, May 1st, and May 2nd.

The proposed budget, outlined in a letter from the Interim City Manager, reflects the city’s strong economy but acknowledges pressing challenges such as climate change, housing insecurity, and aging infrastructure, all necessitating strategic investments.

The approximately $115 million spending plan, informed by a recent property revaluation, includes tax rates of $6.98 for year-round residential properties, $10.46 for commercial properties, and $8.22 for non-resident property owners, representing an overall tax levy increase of 3.95 percent.

A significant aspect of the proposed budget is the residential property tax rate, which would grant a 24 percent exemption for qualifying homeowners, up from 15 percent in FY2024. This larger exemption aims to provide relief to residents, with the tax bill for qualifying homeowners expected to remain largely flat, dependent on assessed values.

Despite a robust housing market contributing additional revenue, concerns persist over housing affordability and availability. The average assessed value of a single-family home now exceeds $1,000,000, with low housing inventory potentially driving residents away and hindering family stability.

In response, recent measures have been implemented, including zoning restrictions on short-term rentals and the establishment of a two-tier residential tax rate. However, housing remains a multifaceted issue encompassing stock availability, affordability, connectivity, and location.

The proposed budget also includes operational streamlining through departmental reorganization and the creation of a Department of Resilience and Sustainability. This pioneering department will focus on long-term planning to ensure Newport’s resilience in the face of climate change.

Furthering this commitment, a $98.5 million bond referendum is proposed to fund infrastructure and resiliency improvements. These include soil removal related to the new Rogers High School construction project and repairs to iconic locations like the Cliff Walk and Perrotti Park.

Residents can access the entire proposed budget and workshop schedule online at Workshops are open to the public, with additional departmental spending details expected to be released in the coming weeks.

The schedule for upcoming budget workshops is as follows:

  • Tuesday, April 23 at 5:30 pm: Overview, General Fund Revenues, Capital Projects, New Positions, Police
  • Monday, April 29 at 5:30 pm: Fire, Maritime, Parking, Resilience & Sustainability
  • Tuesday, April 30 at 5:30 pm: Public Services, Planning/Economic Development/Zoning, Inspections
  • Wednesday, May 1 at 5:30 pm: School Budget (Joint Session with School Committee)
  • Thursday, May 2 at 8:30 am: Utilities (Water & Water Pollution Control)




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