Mayor Elorza unveils $506 million budget for PVD FY 2021
PROVIDENCE, R.I. (WLNE) – Mayor Jorge Elorza (D-Providence) unveiled his budget proposal for fiscal year 2021 on Tuesday .
The budget will take effect July 1 and is set at $506,843,316. That’s a .15% increase from the FY 2020 budget.
Even though revenue is currently down due to the coronavirus, Mayor Elorza said an increased budget is possible thanks to revenue that came in before the pandemic hit.
“I’ve done six or seven budgets and they’ve all been incredibly difficult, but this one takes the cake,” said Elorza.
There are no changes to the residential and commercial property tax rates in the proposed budget.
The proposal does include a new tax exemption aimed at helping small businesses. Any business paying $10,000 or less in tangible property taxes will not have to pay at all, according to Elorza’s proposal.
“Small businesses are the lifeblood of our economy,” said Elorza. “I’m hearing from a lot of nervous business owners that they’re concerned that they’re not going to make it to the other side of this virus.”
One small business owner who is relieved to hear about the tangible tax exemption is Jo-Anna Cassino, owner of Flipp Salon-Apothecary in Providence.
“I think it would be a great help to small businesses to not have to pay that tax. I think it would be fantastic. It would help us reinvest in our businesses,” said Cassino.
The budget also sets aside $150,000 for COVID-19 testing at community based health centers.
There is no funding for the city’s rainy day fund.
The budget now heads to the City Council where it will be vetted and voted on.
Below is a full breakdown of the mayor’s budget proposal:
TOTAL MUNICIPAL BUDGET: $506,843,316 (0.15% increase)
Residential: $24.56/1000 (40% owner-occupied homestead exemption, no change)
Commercial: $36.70/1000 (no change)
Tangible: $55.80/1000 (no change) *
Motor Vehicle: $35/1000 (w/ up to a $4,000 exemption an increase of $1,000)
*No tangible tax for small businesses with tangible personal property assessments under $10,000
(subject to subsequent authority as authorized by the General Assembly)
Downtown and Broad Street Supports
Funding to support organizations to conduct street outreach to connect people with behavioral health issues and people
experiencing homelessness in the Downtown and Broad Street areas with support services. These funds are distinct
from, but complementary to the Healthy Communities Office’s Overdose Hotspot Grant, a CDC-funded project with
the RI Department of Health.
Community-Based Health Centers
Funding to support community-based health centers perform COVID-19 testing.
Funding for a pilot program to make doula services more readily available, especially for women of color to improve
health outcomes citywide. Doulas are professionals trained in childbirth who provide emotional and physical support to
a mother who is expecting, experiencing labor, or who has recently given birth. Five grants were awarded to four
applicants who demonstrated a commitment to improving maternal health outcomes in FY20. The FY 21 investment
will support increased access to services.
Dedicated Funding for Providence Housing Trust
In collaboration with the Providence City Council the Administration worked to identify a dedicated funding stream
for affordable housing. In FY21, 10% of the tax revenue from projects with a Tax Stabilization Agreement (TSA)
will go to the Providence Housing Trust.
Tenant Supports/Right to Counsel
Funding to support nonprofits to furnish professional legal services in connection with landlord/tenant eviction cases in
the private rental market.
Support for Amos House’s “A Hand Up” Program
Continued support for a program that has served over 1,000 individuals with 111 finding full- or part-time
employment and over 750 opting into more in depth services and programs.
PVDFest and Downtown Arts Programming
Continued support for PVDFest, Providence’s signature arts festival and other Downtown programming
City’s Contribution to Providence Public School District (PPSD)
FY21: $134,446,611 (increase of up to $4.4M) *
FY20: $130,046,611 (increase of $1.5M)
FY18: $128,546,611 (increase of $3.65M)
*Pending the finalization of the Providence Public School District Budget and clarity around state
education funding and safety protocols.
Early Learning and Development
Funding to expand the number of public pre-kindergarten classrooms in Providence, increasing access to quality early
learning programs. Last year $750K was awarded to Local Initiatives Support Corporation (LISC) Rhode Island
for facility improvements and technical assistance for childcare providers. This year programming will focus on
increasing 4-hour seats.
One Providence for Youth: Employment and Advanced Internships
The City will continue to invest in out of classroom learning and employment programming with anticipated changes to
delivery to provide safe and engaging opportunities.
Summer Learning Opportunities
The City will partner with the District and program partners to deliver year-long learning opportunities to our youth,
even during difficult times. This is in addition to the $580K in the District’s budget for programming.
PVD Young Makers
Funding to continue a creative and interactive program aimed at increasing youth access to making spaces in
partnership with FabNewport and Providence Libraries.
Funding to Providence Talks, a proven early intervention program that increases childhood literacy and prepares early
learning for school.
After School Supports
Maintaining last year’s 27% increase to Providence After School Alliance (PASA).
FY 19: $275K
FY 18: $250K
Period Products in Middle School and High Schools
Funding to continue program with opportunity for outside partnership. Currently, period product dispensers are in
women and gender-neutral bathrooms in all Providence middle and high schools. In FY21, we will maintain stocking
these bathrooms with period products. During our COVID-19 response we have worked to distribute period products
to students in need in different ways.
Comprehensive Student Health Plan
Continued support for comprehensive school health activities and operations in the school district. Based on this year’s
needs assessment, develop a strategic plan to improve student health and learning outcomes and conduct a school health
curriculum review. FY21 investment will fund the develop of a School Health Plan and Health Curriculum.
Major Infrastructure Investments
Continuous, critical investments in infrastructure. The City borrowed $115M in FY20 for capital projects across the
City. That bond supports investments identified in FY20 and $60.97M invested in FY21. This commitment to
major infrastructure investments represents $124M of projects that have been completed or are already on progress over
the last three years since we introduced a first-of-its-kind comprehensive Capital Improvement Plan (CIP) in 2017.
FY21-25: $191.63M (PPBA)
FY20: $65.53M (PPBA)
FY18-19: $58.5M (PPBA)
70th Police Training Academy
Funding to train and add up to 50 new officers to the Providence police Department.
FY21: $1,461,620 (salaries, uniforms and testing costs for 50 recruits anticipated class start winter
FY20: $2,760,516 (48 officers hired 6/24/19)
FY19: $888,283 (48 officers hired 6/24/19* does not include uniforms)
FY18: $2,452,811 (59 officers hired on 8/4/17)
New Professional Development Opportunities
Funding for a comprehensive training and development program for mid-level managers and directors to ensure we are
growing the skills of those who help lead the city every day and to maximize the performance of all City Departments.
Payment to the Pension Fund
FY21: $90,483,926 ($73,494,647City)
FY20: $86,723,404 ($70,414,021 City)
FY19: $83,357,367 ($64,352,565 City)
FY18: $78,123,118 ($60,902,255 City)