Charlestown Budget Commission holds tax rate increase to a half percent

Charlestown Budget Commission holds tax rate increase to a half percent

The Westerly Sun

CHARLESTOWN — The town’s proposed 2018-19 budget would increase overall spending by 2.7 percent, or about $760,000.

The Budget Commission submitted the proposed spending plan to the Town Council at the council’s Monday meeting. 

Council President Virginia Lee congratulated the commission on several months of work to produce a budget that, she said, raises the tax rate by just a half percent.

“It’s fiscally constrained and very sound,” Lee said. “It’s among the lowest in the state for taxes.”

Budget Commission Chairman Richard Sartor said the tax levy would increase by $113,000.

“That’s 0.48 percent,” he said. The current rate is $9.59 per $1,000 of assessed real estate. A property assessed at $200,000, for example, would see its tax increase by $12. 

A public hearing will take place on April 30.   

Charlestown’s share of the Chariho Regional School District budget would increase 0.7 percent, to $14,216,622 from the current $14,121,237.

Municipal spending levels would rise by 4.9 percent, or $664,66, to 14,268,024.

Capital improvements spending is set to go up by $377,794, or 25.9 percent, to a total of $1,836,716.

“We, through a variety of means, are trying to fund as many of these projects as possible,” Sartor said. 

Among them is a project that would resurface, rebuild and repair several roads in town. 

“Route 1 is in pretty good shape. The state takes care of that. But some of our north-south roads need renovation and repair,” Sartor said.  

This year’s projects include the bonded renovation of Old Mill Road for $1 million, road resurfacing throughout the town for $120,000, replacing box culverts on King’s Factory Road for $250,000, and $175,000 for a power generator at Town Hall.

An allocation of $56,000 by the town would go toward a replacement ambulance for the Charlestown Ambulance Corps. Total cost is about $250,000. However, for the first time, the ambulance corps will contribute $16,000 of the allocation, Sartor said. 

The town continues to slowly pay down its bonded debt.

The Budget Commission anticipates $2.2 million in state aid, but Sartor told officials that number could change. Charlestown budgeted $2 million in the current year.


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