Placing Providence’s Property Tax Burden in a National Context
Further to Andrew’s post, Providence’s very high property taxes undoubtedly result from a combination of two critical factors. One, at least, was eminently controllable and, therefore, avoidable.
The first is that 40% of the city’s real estate is tax exempt. The second factor contributing to its very high property taxes, and the one that could have been avoided, has been decades of elected officials formulating and/or affirming (i.e., passing along) seriously irresponsible budgets – budgets that appear to have completely disregarded the first factor and its implications to revenue.
Below are the national rankings of Providence’s property tax rates. It is difficult to see where there is room to increase them. In fact, the city clearly needs to go in the opposite direction.
Residential Tax Rate: 7th highest
[As of 2009. Source: The US Census.]
Commercial Tax Rate: 2nd highest