CHARLESTOWN - A proposal aimed to give full-time Charlestown residents a tax credit of up to $1,000 per year on their property taxes was presented by the Charlestown Democratic Town Committee (CDTC) at the Nov. 14 town council meeting.
CDTC Secretary Tom Ferrio gave the presentation, which outlined reason’s why the committee believes full-time residents of the sea-side town deserve a homestead exemption. According to the presentation, homestead exemptions are implemented by taxing authorities as a means of compensating residents who are exposed to all forms of taxation.
The proposed tax credit would apply to property owners who live in Charlestown for more than six months of the year, and would be made available after one year of documented Charlestown residency.
“We maintain a 12-month infrastructure for a 3-month peak population,” Ferrio said, “and the full-time residents are paying an unfair portion.”
With that in mind, Ferrio and the CDTC’s proposal aims to balance the tax burden for full-time and seasonal residents. According to the CDTC, the population of Charlestown, which is just under $8,000, triples during June, July and August.
In Ferrio’s presentation, he described various other states, and some Rhode Island cities and towns, that currently have homestead exemption policies. Most of them, according to the presentation, use percentage valuation reductions on properties to lower taxes. Ferrio said the CDTC has proposed a tax credit system instead because other tax exemptions in Charlestown are carried out as tax credits.
“We proposed it this way to be consistent with other Charlestown exemptions,” Ferrio said.
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