How Central Falls’s Property Tax Rate Nearly Doubled Year Over Year

There’s been some question, in the comments sections, about differing tax rates reported for property in Central Falls. John Hill explains what happened:

Last year, the total value of residential, commercial and industrial real estate in the city was just under $685 million. The new valuation, based on sales figures from the past year, was $411.6 million, a loss of $273 million, or 40 percent.
The drop in the value of taxable real estate meant the city had to increase the 2010-2011 tax rate just to generate the same amount of revenue as last year. Last year, the property-tax rate was $10.78 per thousand of assessed value; this year it went to $19.22 per thousand.
State receiver Mark A. Pfeiffer, who oversees the city’s municipal finances, announced last week a 10-percent increase on top of that, to $21.14.

This is one of those ambiguities of taxation that comes up from time to time. Is the amount that you are taxed, for your property, better thought of in context of the rate or of the amount? Most RI towns treat your property essentially as a share in the government’s cost and tax you according to your share more than directly according to the value of the asset that they’re taxing. Personally, I think that slyly saddles homeowners with all of the risk for local property values, insulating municipal governments from the effects that their own policies can have thereon. But given all of the other things wrong with the way government operates in this state, it’s not really worthy of a crusade.

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John
John
11 years ago

“Most RI towns treat your property essentially as a share in the government’s cost and tax you according to your share more than directly according to the value of the asset that they’re taxing.”
As opposed to what other method?
“…insulating municipal governments from the effects that their own policies can have thereon.”
It is the voters/taxpayers that elect the councils that put in place those policies, no?
So who has the power to change these results? Why, it’s the same folks who elected Mayor Moreau and his rubber-stamp city council.
Seeking blame, the people of Central Falls need only look in the mirror.

Tommy Cranston
Tommy Cranston
11 years ago

The doubling is misleading. Since property prices have fallen nearly in half the increase is negligible.
Where CF gets banged is in the new car tax. All in all a fitting reward from the GA to a city which has has for decades given over 80% of its votes to “Da Party Of Da Workin’ People”.

Patrick
Patrick
11 years ago

“Where CF gets banged is in the new car tax”
Huh?!? How? They reduced their exemption to $1,000. Here in Cumberland, ours was lowered to $500. And our town is run a lot more responsibly than CF has been. And we pay for our school system AND CF’s. So why are they paying less in taxes than us? Another reason why this car tax system is FUBAR.
Plus, what’s the big deal, if property values in CF are in the dumpster, and check RILiving.com. The most expensive property you can buy is commercial and it is listed for $240,000. That’s the most you can possibly pay for a property in CF! If that’s the case, then do we really think that these people are driving BMWs and Ferraris? I’m guessing there are quite a few ’92 Chevy’s tooling around the city. Some may even still fall under the exemption.

doughboys
doughboys
11 years ago

The rate was $10.78 per $1,000 last year in Central Falls.
The new rates came into affect because the property valuations dropped by 44% so in effect the rate at $19.12 is EXACTLY the same as $10.78 and the same with the homestead exemption.
That came right from the Tax office in CF.
Any other community have their values dropped by the valuations to 56% of what they were the year before?
I really wish people from that city would stop blaming the rotten Mayor they elected because CF has not paid a dime towards their own school bill since 1991 so the problem predates this Mayor.
Of course the residents don’t have a problem with the rest of the state paying that bill as long as their taxes don’t go up.

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