Barrington budget basics — are your taxes going up next year?

Residents need to remember the recent town-wide revaluation

By Josh Bickford
Posted 6/16/21

We know Barrington’s financial town meeting is Wednesday night, June 16.

We know it will be held at the high school.

And we know that FTM attendees will be asked to vote on three separate …

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Barrington budget basics — are your taxes going up next year?

Residents need to remember the recent town-wide revaluation

Posted

We know Barrington’s financial town meeting is Wednesday night, June 16.

We know it will be held at the high school.

And we know that FTM attendees will be asked to vote on three separate amendments.

But what does it all mean for Barrington taxpayers? More specifically, how will this year’s budget impact local tax bills, especially after many Barrington homes witnessed a property assessment increase during the recent town-wide revaluation?

Tax rate impact

Right now, the town’s tax rate is $20.90 per $1,000 of assessed value. 

According to Barrington Finance Director Kathleen Raposa, if the proposed budget was adopted without any of the amendments passing, the town’s new tax rate would be $18.90.

That means the tax rate is decreasing by 9.6 percent, which also means that anyone whose property assessment increased by more than 9.6 percent during the recent town-wide revaluation will be seeing a larger tax bill.

It also means that property owners whose assessments increased by less than 9.6 percent will actually be enjoying a smaller tax bill.

Amendments?

Taxpayers who attend the June 16 financial town meeting will have an opportunity to vote the proposed budgets — line by line for the municipal budget, and bottom line for the school department. 

They will also be asked to vote on three proposed amendments.

Four members of the Barrington Town Council filed one of the amendments — it asks for an additional $500,000 to be added to the budget for the “creation and preservation of affordable housing in the community…” 

Councilor Jacob Brier filed a separate amendment requesting an additional $250,000 that would be used to purchase the Carmelite Monastery on Watson Avenue in Barrington. The money represents the maximum annual cost to finance the sales price, which would be negotiated by the town council or an agent of the council.

Barrington resident M. Anne Chapin filed a third amendment. Ms. Chapin has requested that $7,000 be added to the town’s capital requests to build bocci and croquet courts in town. 

The Barrington Times asked Ms. Raposa what the tax rate would be if voters approved all three proposed amendments.

“We haven’t looked at that yet,” she replied.

Tax levy

The operating budget for the municipal government is projected to increase by 4.51 percent, while the school department’s operating budget is expected to increase by 4.28 percent. 

The two budgets combine for a $3.1 million increase in spending. Meanwhile, Barrington received about $5.9 million in state aid for schools last year, but is projected to receive $8.06 million this year.

The school department and municipal government capital budgets are either flat or slightly down this year, and the town is expected to receive an additional $588,000 in car tax reimbursements from the state. 

The Committee on Appropriations is recommending a budget that includes a slight decrease overall, about 0.05 less — last year’s total town operations were $82.97 million, while this year’s is projected at $82.93 million.

Currently, the town’s tax levy — the total revenue collected through taxation of property in town — is $66,730,400. 

If the proposed budget (not including amendments) is adopted, the tax levy would increase to $66,785,982. 

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A lifelong Portsmouth resident, Jim graduated from Portsmouth High School in 1982 and earned a journalism degree from the University of Rhode Island in 1986. He's worked two different stints at East Bay Newspapers, for a total of 18 years with the company so far. When not running all over town bringing you the news from Portsmouth, Jim listens to lots and lots and lots of music, watches obscure silent films from the '20s and usually has three books going at once. He also loves to cook crazy New Orleans dishes for his wife of 25 years, Michelle, and their two sons, Jake and Max.