Providence announces $1.6 million surplus

Dee DeQuattro

Providence Mayor Angel Taveras announced that the city has ended 2013 with a $1.6 million surplus effectively closed the city's $110 million structural deficit.

“Through shared sacrifice and true collaboration, we have made real progress in Providence and pulled the city back from the brink of bankruptcy,” said Taveras. “I am grateful to everyone who has put so much effort into moving Providence forward.”

The surplus is largely attributed to “better then expected” tax collections and revenues generated from city permits and fees.

In addition, Taveras said the pension settlement saved the city $18 million in 2013.

Taveras outlined the following measures that the city took as helping to achieve the city's surplus:

  • Cutting his own pay by 10-percent;
  • Reducing the Mayor's Office budget by 10-percent;
  • Renegotiating union contracts with city workers, firefighters, police officers and teachers, saving approximately 10-percent of the value of those contracts in FY2012 and more than $100 million over the next several years;
  • Securing contributions from seven major, tax-exempt colleges, universities and hospitals in Providence, totaling nearly $38 million in additional revenue over 11 years; and
  • Reaching a landmark agreement with retirees and current employees to reform the city pension and retiree health care system. The agreement saved Providence $18.5 million in FY2013 and reduces the city's unfunded pension liability by approximately $170 million.