NEW: Block Calls for Consolidation of 911 Dispatch Centers in RI

Wednesday, July 30, 2014

 

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Ken Block

Rhode Island Republican gubernatorial candidate Ken Block has called for the consolidation of the state's 39 cities and towns 911 call centers to save the state "tens of millions of dollars."

At an event Wednesday at the Rhode Island State Police Headquarters in North Scituate, Block pointed to the modern system in place at the headquarters to handle calls statewide - and how further changes could produce cost savings. 

"Right now, when someone calls 911, the call comes here. Then it is sent to a local dispatcher before emergency services are deployed. We need to take out the middle step, and let the state police dispatch the emergency services," said Block. "The system will be more efficient, and potentially eliminate 39 separate call centers, saving the cities and towns tens of millions of dollars annually."  

Block further noted that 13 of RI's cities and towns have two dispatch centers for police and fire which said "complicated things further and made them more expensive" -- adding that recent consolidation efforts in Woonsocket show that the "savings are real."

Woonsocket Example

"When I came into office, consolidated dispatch was something that had been worked on for two years, but never came to fruition," said Woonsocket Mayor Lisa Baldelli-Hunt. "I learned there could be savings with fire and police consolidation, so I called a meeting of all parties involved with implementation.  I learned it was workable, and found agreement amongst everyone they were in favor -- it was encouraging to work with groups that people might have felt could have been opposed to consolidation.  That was not the way."

Baldelli-Hunt spoke to the time frame -- and costs savings -- of making such a move. 

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"We came to terms in a two week period -- who would man it, where it would be located, all of the logistics. It was all in conjunction with police, fire, my Planning Director and Director of Public Safety, and the unions," said Baldelli-Hunt.  "We needed three-quarters of million dollars to get this up and running, so we took savings from staffing that we didn't use at the police station, used that along with CDBG funds and realigned those.  We had to use the CDBG funds over a four year period, so some of the equipment was a lease purchase to pay off over a period of time."

"Bottom line is this is over $600,000 in savings," said Baldelli-Hunt.  "Our budget impact statement shows we should have done this two year ago.  I congratulate Ken Block for pursuing this.  If Woonsocket can do it, anyone can," said Baldelli-Hunt, noting that Woonsocket just got a bond upgrade from Moody's from negative to stable. 

Block spoke to the Woonsocket example as an indication it could be applied statewide.

"In 48 other states, emergency dispatch occurs from the same call center in which 911 calls are answered," said Block. "Rhode Island is not one of those 48 states."

"We've seen in Woonsocket it works, now we need to do it statewide," said Block, who added that if elected, he would get the information necessary to move the proposal forward. 

"The legislative committee that was looking into this didn't get all the info they needed from local communities," said Block. "If you have got to use APRA, that's what we'll do.  You can ask nicely, or formally but one way or another we need that info."

 "We still need to quantify the savings and get estimates, and once we get those, we'll have a compelling reason to do this," said Block.  "The thing that holds Rhode Island back is the high cost of doing business, and local property taxes and car taxes are driving costs of business up.  This needs to be addressed."

 

Related Slideshow: RI Communities with the Highest Tax Rates #39 - #1

How do the taxes in your community compare to other cities and towns in Rhode Island?

GoLocalProv has ranked communities from the least to the highest taxed on the basis of their tax rates, using newly released data from the state Division of Municipal Finance. The below slides list the tax rate per $1,000 in value for homes, commercial property, personal property, and motor vehicles for the 2014 fiscal year, which began last July and ends next June.

Along with the rates are examples of what taxes might cost a typical resident in each city or town. For residential taxes, this calculation is based on the current statewide median price for a single family home, which is $240,000. For communities with them, homestead exemptions are factored in using the latest available figures. For motor vehicles, the example used is a 2008 Honda Accord, valued at the maximum retail price of $15,150. The total cost of home and car taxes is then represented as a percentage of the median income for that community, offering a rough measure of how affordable taxes are for those residents as compared with the taxes in another city or town.

Data sources: the Rhode Island Division of Municipal Finance, the Rhode Island Association of Realtors, the Rhode Island League of Cities and Towns, the National Automobile Dealers Association, and the U.S. Census Bureau.

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#39 New Shoreham

FY 2014 Tax Rates Per $1,000 in Value

Residential: $5.21

Commercial: $5.21

Personal Property: $5.21

Motor Vehicle: $9.75

Tax Cost for Residents

For a single family home valued at $240,000: $1,000.32

For 2008 Honda Accord: $147.71

Total Taxes as % Median Income: $1.29%

Note: Real property is assessed at 80 percent of value. This is reflected in the community's ranking.

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#38 Little Compton

FY 2014 Tax Rates Per $1,000 in Value

Residential: $5.38

Commercial: $5.38

Personal Property: $10.76

Motor Vehicle: $13.90

Tax Cost for Residents

For a single family home valued at $240,000: $1,291.20

For 2008 Honda Accord: $210.59

Total Taxes as % Median Income: 1.56%

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#37 Jamestown

FY 2014 Tax Rates Per $1,000 in Value

Residential: $8.75

Commercial: $8.75

Personal Property: $8.75

Motor Vehicle: $14.42

Tax Cost for Residents

For a single family home valued at $240,000: $2,100.00

For 2008 Honda Accord: $218.46

Total Taxes as % Median Income: $2.84%

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#36 Charlestown

FY 2014 Tax Rates Per $1,000 in Value

Residential: $9.46

Commercial: $9.46

Personal Property: $9.46

Motor Vehicle: $13.08

Tax Cost for Residents

For a single family home valued at $240,000: $2,270.40

For 2008 Honda Accord: $198.16

Total Taxes as % Median Income: 3.56%

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#35 Narragansett

FY 2014 Tax Rates Per $1,000 in Value

Residential: $9.80

Commercial: $14.68

Personal Property: $14.68

Motor Vehicle: $16.46

Tax Cost for Residents

For a single family home valued at $240,000: $2,352.00

For 2008 Honda Accord: $249.37

Total Taxes as % Median Income: 4.06%

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#34 Bristol

FY 2014 Tax Rates Per $1,000 in Value

Residential: $12.80

Commercial: $12.80

Personal Property: $12.80

Motor Vehicle: $17.35

Tax Cost for Residents

For a single family home valued at $240,000: $3,072.00

For 2008 Honda Accord: $262.85

Total Taxes as % Median Income: 5.18%

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#33 Portsmouth

FY 2014 Tax Rates Per $1,000 in Value

Residential: $14.53

Commercial: $14.53

Personal Property: $14.53

Motor Vehicle: $22.50

Tax Cost for Residents

For a single family home valued at $240,000: $3,487.20

For 2008 Honda Accord: $238.61

Total Taxes as % Median Income: 4.87%

Note: Motor vehicles are assessed at 70 percent of value. This is reflected in the community's ranking.

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#32 Westerly

FY 2014 Tax Rates Per $1,000 in Value

Residential: $10.53

Commercial: $10.53

Personal Property: $10.53

Motor Vehicle: $29.67

Tax Cost for Residents

For a single family home valued at $240,000: $2,527.20

For 2008 Honda Accord: $449.50

Total Taxes as % Median Income: 4.93%

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#31 South Kingstown

FY 2014 Tax Rates Per $1,000 in Value

Residential: $15.47

Commercial: $15.47

Personal Property: $15.47

Motor Vehicle: $18.71

Tax Cost for Residents

For a single family home valued at $240,000: $3,712.80

For 2008 Honda Accord: $283.46

Total Taxes as % Median Income: 5.39%

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#30 Newport

FY 2014 Tax Rates Per $1,000 in Value

Residential: $11.71

Commercial: $16.23

Personal Property: $16.23

Motor Vehicle: $23.45

Tax Cost for Residents

For a single family home valued at $240,000: $2,810.40

For 2008 Honda Accord: $355.27

Total Taxes as % Median Income: 5.45%

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#29 Middletown

FY 2014 Tax Rates Per $1,000 in Value

Residential: $15.71

Commercial: $20.87

Personal Property: $15.71

Motor Vehicle: $16.05

Tax Cost for Residents

For a single family home valued at $240,000: $3,770.40

For 2008 Honda Accord: $243.16

Total Taxes as % Median Income: 5.58%

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#28 Exeter

FY 2014 Tax Rates Per $1,000 in Value

Residential: $14.72

Commercial: $14.72

Personal Property: $14.72

Motor Vehicle: $32.59

Tax Cost for Residents

For a single family home valued at $240,000: $3,532.80

For 2008 Honda Accord: $493.74

Total Taxes as % Median Income: 3.93%

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#27 Tiverton

FY 2014 Tax Rates Per $1,000 in Value

Residential: $19.37

Commercial: $19.37

Personal Property: $19.37

Motor Vehicle: $19.14

Tax Cost for Residents

For a single family home valued at $240,000: $4,648.80

For 2008 Honda Accord: $289.97

Total Taxes as % Median Income: 7.75%

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#26 Richmond

FY 2014 Tax Rates Per $1,000 in Value

Residential: $19.76

Commercial: $19.76

Personal Property: $19.76

Motor Vehicle: $22.64

Tax Cost for Residents

For a single family home valued at $240,000: $4,742.40

For 2008 Honda Accord: $274.40

Total Taxes as % Median Income: 6.33%

Note: Motor vehicles are assessed at 80 percent of value. This is reflected in the community's ranking.

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#25 North Kingstown

FY 2014 Tax Rates Per $1,000 in Value

Residential: $18.80

Commercial: $18.80

Personal Property: $18.80

Motor Vehicle: $22.04

Tax Cost for Residents

For a single family home valued at $240,000: $4,512.00

For 2008 Honda Accord: $333.91

Total Taxes as % Median Income: 6.18%

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#24 Coventry

FY 2014 Tax Rates Per $1,000 in Value

Residential: $18.66

Commercial: $22.49

Personal Property: $18.66

Motor Vehicle: $18.75

Tax Cost for Residents

For a single family home valued at $240,000: $4,478.40

For 2008 Honda Accord: $284.06

Total Taxes as % Median Income: 7.11%

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#23 Cumberland

FY 2014 Tax Rates Per $1,000 in Value

Residential: $15.78

Commercial: $15.78

Personal Property: $28.86

Motor Vehicle: $19.87

Tax Cost for Residents

For a single family home valued at $240,000: $3,787.20

For 2008 Honda Accord: $301.03

Total Taxes as % Median Income: 5.62%

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#22 Hopkinton

FY 2014 Tax Rates Per $1,000 in Value

Residential: $19.77

Commercial: $19.77

Personal Property: $19.77

Motor Vehicle: $21.18

Tax Cost for Residents

For a single family home valued at $240,000: $4,744.80

For 2008 Honda Accord: $320.88

Total Taxes as % Median Income: 7.80%

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#21 Warren

FY 2014 Tax Rates Per $1,000 in Value

Residential: $18.67

Commercial: $18.67

Personal Property: $18.67

Motor Vehicle: $26.00

Tax Cost for Residents

For a single family home valued at $240,000: $4,480.80

For 2008 Honda Accord: $393.90

Total Taxes as % Median Income: 9.15%

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#20 East Greenwich

FY 2014 Tax Rates Per $1,000 in Value

Residential: $22.90

Commercial: $22.90

Personal Property: $22.90

Motor Vehicle: $22.88

Tax Cost for Residents

For a single family home valued at $240,000: $5,496.00

For 2008 Honda Accord: $346.63

Total Taxes as % Median Income: 6.05%

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#19 Burrillville

FY 2014 Tax Rates Per $1,000 in Value

Residential: $18.58

Commercial: $18.58

Personal Property: $18.58

Motor Vehicle: $40.00

Tax Cost for Residents

For a single family home valued at $240,000: $4,459.20

For 2008 Honda Accord: $606.00

Total Taxes as % Median Income: 7.35%

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#18 Barrington

FY 2014 Tax Rates Per $1,000 in Value

Residential: $18.20

Commercial: $18.20

Personal Property: $18.20

Motor Vehicle: $42.00

Tax Cost for Residents

For a single family home valued at $240,000: $4,368.00

For 2008 Honda Accord: $636.30

Total Taxes as % Median Income: 5.07%

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#17 West Greenwich

FY 2014 Tax Rates Per $1,000 in Value

Residential: $22.55

Commercial: $22.55

Personal Property: $33.85

Motor Vehicle: $19.02

Tax Cost for Residents

For a single family home valued at $240,000: $4,600.20

For 2008 Honda Accord: $288.15

Total Taxes as % Median Income: 5.81%

Note: Does not include rate for vacant land which is $16.07. Has homestead exemption.

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#16 Foster

FY 2014 Tax Rates Per $1,000 in Value

Residential: $20.40

Commercial: $20.40

Personal Property: $28.03

Motor Vehicle: $36.95

Tax Cost for Residents

For a single family home valued at $240,000: $4,896.00

For 2008 Honda Accord: $559.79

Total Taxes as % Median Income: 7.00%

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#15 Scituate

FY 2014 Tax Rates Per $1,000 in Value

Residential: $33.37

Commercial: $43.20

Personal Property: $39.75

Motor Vehicle: $30.20

Tax Cost for Residents

For a single family home valued at $240,000: $4,484.40

For 2008 Honda Accord: $434.65

Total Taxes as % Median Income: 6.01%

Note: Real property is assessed at only 50 percent of value and motor vehicles are assessed at 95 percent of value. This is reflected in the community's ranking.

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#14 Glocester

FY 2014 Tax Rates Per $1,000 in Value

Residential: $21.24

Commercial: $24.14

Personal Property: $42.29

Motor Vehicle: $24.37

Tax Cost for Residents

For a single family home valued at $240,000: $5,097.60

For 2008 Honda Accord: $369.21

Total Taxes as % Median Income: 7.10%

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#13 North Smithfield

FY 2014 Tax Rates Per $1,000 in Value

Residential: $15.86

Commercial: $17.57

Personal Property: $42.75

Motor Vehicle: $37.62

Tax Cost for Residents

For a single family home valued at $240,000: $3,806.40

For 2008 Honda Accord: $569.94

Total Taxes as % Median Income: 5.54%

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#12 Lincoln

FY 2014 Tax Rates Per $1,000 in Value

Residential: $23.49

Commercial: $26.85

Personal Property: $36.89

Motor Vehicle: $30.66

Tax Cost for Residents

For a single family home valued at $240,000: $3,664.44

For 2008 Honda Accord: $464.50

Total Taxes as % Median Income: 5.57%

Note: Has homestead exemption.

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#11 Warwick

FY 2014 Tax Rates Per $1,000 in Value

Residential: $19.79

Commercial: $29.68

Personal Property: $39.58

Motor Vehicle: $34.60

Tax Cost for Residents

For a single family home valued at $240,000: $4,749.60

For 2008 Honda Accord: $524.19

Total Taxes as % Median Income: 8.79%

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#10 West Warwick

FY 2014 Tax Rates Per $1,000 in Value

Residential Rates:

  • For apartments with 6+ units: $35.26
  • For two to five family buildings: $35.26
  • For single family homes: $24.67

 

Commercial: $29.98

Personal Property: $39.00

Motor Vehicle: $28.47

Tax Cost for Residents

For a single family home valued at $240,000: $5,920.80

For 2008 Honda Accord: $431.32

Total Taxes as % Median Income: 12.70%

Note: For ranking purposes, the average of  the three residential rates was used.

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#9 Cranston

FY 2014 Tax Rates Per $1,000 in Value

Residential: $22.84

Commercial: $34.26

Personal Property: $34.26

Motor Vehicle: $42.44

Tax Cost for Residents

For a single family home valued at $240,000: $5,481.60

For 2008 Honda Accord: $642.97

Total Taxes as % Median Income: 10.48%

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#8 Smithfield

FY 2014 Tax Rates Per $1,000 in Value

Residential: $17.52

Commercial: $17.52

Personal Property: $61.06

Motor Vehicle: $39.00

Tax Cost for Residents

For a single family home valued at $240,000: $4,204.80

For 2008 Honda Accord: $590.85

Total Taxes as % Median Income: 6.54%

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#7 East Providence

FY 2014 Tax Rates Per $1,000 in Value

Residential: $22.78

Commercial: $25.21

Personal Property: $56.25

Motor Vehicle: $37.10

Tax Cost for Residents

For a single family home valued at $240,000: $4,647.12

For 2008 Honda Accord: $562.07

Total Taxes as % Median Income: 10.54%

Note:  Rates are for FY 2013. Has homestead exemption.

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#6 Johnston

FY 2014 Tax Rates Per $1,000 in Value

Residential: $28.75

Commercial: $28.75

Personal Property: $59.22

Motor Vehicle: $41.46

Tax Cost for Residents

For a single family home valued at $240,000: $5,520.00

For 2008 Honda Accord: $628.12

Total Taxes as % Median Income: 11.20%

Note: Has homestead exemption.

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#5 Pawtucket

FY 2014 Tax Rates Per $1,000 in Value

Residential: $23.06

Commercial: $30.88

Personal Property: $52.09

Motor Vehicle: $53.30

Tax Cost for Residents

For a single family home valued at $240,000: $5,534.40

For 2008 Honda Accord: $807.50

Total Taxes as % Median Income: 16.00%

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#4 North Providence

FY 2014 Tax Rates Per $1,000 in Value

Residential: $24.29

Commercial: $31.03

Personal Property: $69.41

Motor Vehicle: $41.95

Tax Cost for Residents

For a single family home valued at $240,000: $4,663.68

For 2008 Honda Accord: $635.54

Total Taxes as % Median Income: 10.55%

Note: Has homestead exemption.

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#3 Woonsocket

FY 2014 Tax Rates Per $1,000 in Value

Residential: $34.56

Commercial: $39.81

Personal Property: $46.58

Motor Vehicle: $46.58

Tax Cost for Residents

For a single family home valued at $240,000: $4,976.64

For 2008 Honda Accord: $705.69

Total Taxes as % Median Income: 14.45%

Note: Has homestead exemption.

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#2 Providence

FY 2014 Tax Rates Per $1,000 in Value

Residential Rates:

  • For owner-occupied residential property: $19.25
  • For non-owner-occupied residential property: $33.75

 

Commercial: $36.75

Personal Property: $55.80

Motor Vehicle: $60.00

Tax Cost for Residents

For a single family home valued at $240,000: $4,620.00

For 2008 Honda Accord: $909.00

Total Taxes as % Median Income: 14.21%

Note: For ranking purposes, the average of the two residential rates was used. 

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#1 Central Falls

FY 2014 Tax Rates Per $1,000 in Value

Residential: $25.72

Commercial: $37.06

Personal Property: $73.11

Motor Vehicle: $48.65

Tax Cost for Residents

For a single family home valued at $240,000: $4,728.36

For 2008 Honda Accord: $737.05

Total Taxes as % Median Income: 14.43%

Note: Has homestead exemption.

 
 

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