More Funding Formula Numbers

Abby Fox of the East Greenwich Pendulum has some more data on what certain members of the legislature think of as a “fair” “funding formula”…

  • East Greenwich’s state aid would be cut by the full amount — $1,949,761 – to $0.
  • Narragansett’s almost identical share, $1,897,159, would also drop to $0.
  • Newport’s share would be cut by more than $11 million to $0.
  • South Kingstown’s portion would be cut by more than $10 million to $0.
  • Westerly’s would be cut by more than $6 million, to $0.
  • Portsmouth’s aid would be cut by more than $6 million, to $0.
  • Block Island’s aid would be cut by $106,345, to $0.
  • Jamestown’s would drop by $531,908, to $0.
  • Barrington…would actually see its state aid increase to $28,507, for a total amount of $2,628,033.
  • Providence’s share…would soar under the proposed legislation, by nearly $50 million, leading to a total state aid of $243,784,089.
  • Central Falls…would decrease by $2,553,047, for a total of $41,320,826.
Even supposedly cold-hearted fiscal-conservatives are inclined to look at those numbers, scratch their heads, and wonder about the wisdom of cutting aid to Central Falls while increasing aid to Barrington? But that’s the kind of bizarreness you end up with when you try to distribute resources via bureaucratic formula.
On a broader level, it is disappointing that so many of our legislators see the role of government as fundamentally coercive, i.e. an engine for taking resources from one group of people, and give them to another that they like better, instead of cooperative effort to help people come together and solve problems.

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Tom W
Tom W
13 years ago

>>On a broader level, it is disappointing that so many of our legislators see the role of government as fundamentally coercive, i.e. an engine for taking resources from one group of people, and give them to another that they like better, instead of cooperative effort to help people come together and solve problems.
The legacy of Woodrow Wilson and FDR.
Since then the U.S. Constitution has been so “living documented” that the Founding Fathers would be horrified to see how Constitution has been rendered essentially meaningless and how government has metastasized in this country – at the federal, state and local levels.

chuckR
chuckR
13 years ago

If the suburban cuts were actually made, could the communities raise the lost aid without running into tax increase caps imposed by the state? It’s a 5 1/4% cap on increase for 2009. As a Jamestown taxpayer, the town could manage; how about others on the shafted list?
Providence’s lust to use other people’s taxes instead of their own is just shameful.
Forget it, Jake, It’s Chinatown.

Ragin' Rhode Islander
Ragin' Rhode Islander
13 years ago

1) Greatly reduce or eliminate state education aid for various suburban communities. This will please the urban constituencies and urban teachers union locals – and the urban General Assembly reps outnumber the suburban ones.
Divert some of the money to bail out the pension system to keep the rest of the unions on board.
2) When the suburban communities wail, use that as political cover to punch loopholes into or repeal Paiva-Weed, so that the localities can go back to skyrocketing their property tax.
Local elected officials will then get the blame for
tax increases, while the General Assembly leadership can stick to its representations to not raise taxes. Plus the suburban teacher union locals won’t have to negotiate in the face of Paiva-Weed caps any longer.
Anyplace else this might be considered paranoia; but in Rhode Island anything is possible.

Mike
Mike
13 years ago

Paiva-Weed intentionally has a giant loophole built into it. The city council declares an “emergency” and the GA rubberstamps it. Easy as pie. Johnston has already done it.

Scott Bill Hirst
Scott Bill Hirst
13 years ago

Hi!
Of course, I am interested to see how it impacts Chariho, the only three town school district in the state. Each town gets different state aid.
In strictly a tax situation, of local property taxes, it has been approximately on local budgets:
Charlestown: 60% spent on education, 40% on general government; Hopkinton: 78% on education versus 22% on general government; and Richmond: 82% on education versus 18% on general government.
Regards,
Scott

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