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May 21, 2014

WEST WARWICK — “This is a critical town meeting like none we’ve ever seen,” said West Warwick Town Manager Fred Presley.

Presley has been working with all of the groups in town since he was appointed manager in June and impressed upon those few who attended Tuesday’s financial meeting how important it is for voters to understand the numbers and their significance for this year’s budget.

“We’re proposing an $86 million budget,” he said. “A 2.9 percent increase.”

The major categories that make up the proposed budget expenses include education ($51,519,609), general financial administration ($2,804,400), public works ($3,217,439), police protection ($5,450,137), fire protection ($6,480,681), parks ($254,528), debt service general fund (2,660,628), general government ($12,486,387), West Warwick Senior Center ($163,000), library ($644,000) and capital ($675,290) for a total of $86,356,059.
The current net tax levy is $56,363,626. The proposed net tax levy for 2014-2015 is $58,502,349. The town’s tax cap levy will be 3.79 percent, a similar increase to last year.

The proposed tax rates per $1,000 are residential (1- and 2-family) $25.39, residential 2-family non-owner occupied; three, four and five –family $36.45, residential six-plus family $36.28, tangible $40.13, commercial/industrial $30.85 and the motor vehicle tax remains the same at $28.47 with the exemption remaining at $1,000.

“If a single family home is assessed at $150,000, based upon that $2.9 increase that’s $120 per year or about $10 per month,” he said.

He recalled when Rhode Island Department of Revenue Director Rosemary Booth Gallogly comparing the town to the Titanic.

“She said we will go down if we couldn’t figure out a way,” he said.
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