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Picozzi’s $353M Warwick Budget: Tax Mix Stable

[CREDIT: City of Warwick] Mayor Frank Picozzi's $353M Warwick Budget kept the city's tax mix as-is and added more than $1 million to Warwick Public Schools' request.

[CREDIT: City of Warwick] Mayor Frank Picozzi's $353M Warwick Budget kept the city's tax mix as-is and added more than $1 million to Warwick Public Schools' request.
[CREDIT: City of Warwick] Mayor Frank Picozzi’s $353M Warwick Budget kept the city’s tax mix as-is and added more than $1 million to Warwick Public Schools’ request.
EDITOR’S NOTE: This story has been updated with revised budget figures following a May 24 email query to and response from Warwick School Committee Chairman David Testa. The School Committee’s originally reported budget figure reported during their live-streamed meeting was lower than the actual number. This story has been updated with the new figure, provided by Testa.

WARWICK, RI — The Warwick City Council meets Monday, starting a budget hearing session on Mayor Frank Picozzi’s $353.2 million FY24 budget, with the city’s first property tax increase in three years, at 2.9 percent.

The tax mix between residential and commercial properties remains as-is, and Warwick Schools received more than their $184.2 million ask.

Picozzi budgeted Warwick Schools for a 4 percent increase, from FY23’s $178.8 million, to $185.9 million, about $1.4 million less than the $187.3 million the Warwick School Committee requested in its own budget proposal, passed May 5. The School Committee had cut $1,953,560 from Superintendent Lynn Dambruch’s proposed budget before passing their version.

State school operations aid increased $3.2 million in the Governor’s proposed budget, aiding in balancing the Warwick Public Schools budget, Picozzi noted in his Warwick budget message.

Overall, the budget relies on $7.1 million from the fund balance. Last year the budget used $10.8 million from the fund balance.

In his budget presentation, Picozzi noted the effect of the recent revaluation, which was delayed last year. He also noted that the tax mix flexibility granted him by the City Council in April, the subject of  some citizens’ concern for the business community, resulted in a status-quo for both residential and commercial taxpayers.

“After any revaluation, sales evidence will show certain types of property and neighborhoods increased more than others. Some of you will experience tax increases; other decreases. I have also proposed more flexibility in assigning tax rates to residential and commercial property. In this budget, the proportion of the tax levy to be collected from residential and commercial property is planned to be the same as in the current year,” Picozzi wrote.

In this Warwick budget, with the exception of those supported by the remainder of American Rescue Plan funding, there are no new initiatives. The following additional increases were noted in public safety and public works:

  • Warwick Fire Department – $2 million increase, $1.3 million supported by  a Federal SAFER Grant for new hires
  • Warwick Police Department -$1.6 million increase to cover negotiated compensation increases as well as higher operating costs.
  • Public Works – $1,553,975 increase. “Various material costs remain at high levels and compensation increases drive proposed spending of over $1.5 million from projected spending this year,” according to the proposal.

The Warwick City Council will begin Warwick Budget hearings on the budget at 4 p.m. Monday in Council Chambers, Warwick City Hall, 3275 Post Road. Budget documents and agendas for the meetings are attached below: pcr-57-23_budget_resolution_24-2_0 05-23-2023 Budget Council Agenda 05-22-2023 Finance Committee Hearing Agenda 05-22-2023 Budget Council Agenda fy24_general_fund_fv_3_v2


Rob Borkowski
Author: Rob Borkowski

Rob has worked as reporter and editor for several publications, including The Kent County Daily Times and Coventry Courier, before working for Gatehouse in MA then moving home with Patch Media. Now he's publisher and editor of Contact him at [email protected] with tips, press releases, advertising inquiries, and concerns.

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