SOUTH KINGSTOWN – The South Kingstown Town Council met with the local state legislators Wednesday night, Dec. 8 during a work session meeting to discuss municipal issues related to the state, specifically concerning the state departments of transportation and environmental management.
From the General Assembly, representatives Michael Rice, Donald Lally, Jr., Donna Walsh, representatives elect Teresa Tanzi and Spencer Dickinson and Senator Sue Sosnowski attended the meeting with the town council.
Town manager Stephen Alfred first discussed state aid to the town with the local legislators. Alfred reported that in the last two years the town has been severely impacted by the recession and the loss of state aid. Alfred said that on a national basis 27 percent of all local revenue comes from property taxes, but in the fiscal year 2010 Rhode Island, 52 percent of local revenue comes from property taxes. The property tax in the state generates 18 percent more than what is generated through the state sales tax. In 2008, the average property tax of Rhode Island was 30 percent more than the national average, which Alfred said shows a difference in how the country is dealing with property taxes than how the state deals with it. Alfred reported a loss of over $3 million in state aid to the town since 2007. Also, the real cost of municipal government, which includes running the police and public service departments is budgeted at $19 million for 2010, which is $700,000 less than in 2009.
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