Peculiar News from Lincoln
[Lincoln] Town Administrator T. Joseph Almond is recommending a $70.1-million budget for the next fiscal year that would reduce the tax levy and scale back the School Committee’s budget request.
The bottom line for the municipal and school budgets would increase by $123,015 in the fiscal year that starts July 1, but Almond said it would decrease the amount raised through local taxes by $531,616. Finance Director John F. Ward said that’s about a 1-percent levy decrease, but that the budget could still be affected by proposed state aid cuts.
Frank Champi, a partner at Providence-based Lefkowitz, Garfinkel, Champi & DeRienzo, P.C., the firm that did the audit for the fiscal year ending June 30, 2009, said the town’s operating budget had a $538,828 surplus, and the school budget, a $919,258 surplus. He said the audit put the town among the least financially stressed communities in Rhode Island.
Has Lincoln been doing something right, or has it simply been over-taxing its residents and businesses? I see that it’s tax rate is relatively high, and without corresponding to an obviously low median house price, so it looks like an even larger cut would be just. (And that’s before taking into account Lincoln’s unique circumstance of having gambling revenue from Twin River.