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Friday, June 17, 2016

When is Charlestown’s turn? NEVER, while the CCA is in power

General Assembly paves the way for tax break for Narragansett residents

Charlestown Democrats proposed a similar measure to give a tax break to year-round Charlestown residents. The Charlestown Citizens Alliance and the RI Stateside Coalition organized “The Riot of the Rich” which brought in non-resident beach property owners and their CCA supporters to the Council chambers to denounce the tax break as an affront to the American way of life. Of course, the CCA-controlled Town Council would not even consider the proposal that would have saved the average working family in Charlestown hundreds of dollars off their property tax bill. Those bills, by the way, will be arriving in your mail box soon.

The General Assembly has passed legislation introduced by Sen. James C. Sheehan (D-Dist. 36, Narragansett, North Kingstown) and Rep. Carol Hagan McEntee (D-Dist. 33, Narragansett, South Kingstown) that would allow a homestead tax exemption in the town of Narragansett.

“Some 10 cities and towns have been permitted to implement a homestead exemption in their communities,” said Senator Sheehan. 

“When implemented, it is anticipated that homestead exemption will provide very modest property tax relief for homeowners, while slightly increasing the property tax rate on rental properties.  However, the commercial property tax rate is expected to be significantly reduced.  This should help local businesses and provide a much-needed economic boost to the community.”   

The exemption would apply to home-owning taxpayers who actually reside at the taxable property. The bill would cap any exemption adopted by the town council at 10 percent. The council would be responsible for enacting any rules and regulations to govern the exemption.

“The year-round residents of Narragansett have been seeking the same treatment that other cities and towns afford their residents with homestead exemptions and I am pleased that this legislation finally grants those residents the tax relief they deserve,” said Representative McEntee.

The enabling legislation (2016-S 2188, 2016-H 7127) would grant the Narragansett Town Council the authority to adopt a homestead exemption ordinance, similar to those that have already been adopted in several other communities in the state.