Tax Payments to be Accepted Without Interest or Penalty through June, Additional COVID-19 Containment Measures Put in Place
Monday, March 30, 2020
PROVIDENCE, R.I.—Mayor Jorge O. Elorza announced today that, after review of the FY2020 budget and fiscal year-to-date revenue collection, the City will accept all non-escrowed and current-taxpayer 4th quarter tax payments until June 30th without 4th quarter interest or penalty.
The Administration has closely monitored the impact that COVID-19 could have on the City’s finances and the local economy. The City expects a decrease in revenue in the current fourth quarter amid dramatic decreases in national, statewide and local economic activity. Despite this reduction in anticipated revenue, the City will maintain current staffing numbers and high-quality essential city services through the fiscal year as a result of steady collections in the first three quarters of the fiscal year as well as strict spending and personnel policies. New spending and personnel policies will include an immediate hiring freeze (except for essential personnel) and a citywide spending freeze on all non-response related and non-essential expenses.
“We have had to make difficult decisions in unprecedented circumstances,” said Mayor Jorge Elorza. “But so have many of our residents and businesses and I am in awe at the response of our community during these times. We will continue to monitor our city’s financial health while we prioritize public health and safety in our neighborhoods every day.”
All non-escrowed and current taxpayer 4th quarter (Residential and Commercial Real Estate, Personal Property Tangible and Motor Vehicle) tax payments will be accepted until June 30th without any 4th quarter interest or penalty. All residents who are able to are encouraged to pay their taxes via mail or online. The Administration continues to evaluate the current economic impact to residents and businesses and has been working with partners to identify additional financial relief opportunities including exploring additional lines of credit.
Additionally, a $115 million Providence Public Buildings Authority bond issue closed March 26, 2020. The proceeds of the bond issue were deposited with the Authority’s trustee and are available to fund the City’s capital improvement projects over the next two years. The bonds will provide funding for roadway, sidewalk, park, public building, and other city infrastructure projects. This bond issue was timed to coincide with maturing bond issues from years past, to continue with the City’s debt management plan which calls for making improvements to City infrastructure without increasing the debt service burden on the budget.
Providence is still on schedule to submit the FY2021 budget at the end of April to the Providence City Council. The current budget will be closely monitored in order to sustain best budget practices while allowing the City to continue to provide high-quality city services to the public while addressing the economic realities of the coming months and years. Under current market shifts, there are still challenges in forecasting the total impact that COVID-19 will have on future budgets. The Administration will continue to monitor these effects while working with colleagues in municipal government to best position Providence for recovery.
Lastly, the City also announced that additional spaces in the city are closed for public use as of 03/30/2020:
- Playgrounds Equipment
- Baseball Fields
- Basketball Courts
- Soccer Fields
All essential businesses and spaces that are open to members of the public are strongly encouraged to provide hand sanitizer or hand washing opportunities for customers.
As the state’s recommendations to combat the spread of the COVID-19 evolve, the City of Providence will continue to evaluate the need to make additional changes to city services and operations. Essential city services will continue to be accessible remotely. Local resources are available as defined on our website. The City and Providence Public Schools will continue to offer grab and go breakfast, lunch and dinner meals for all Providence youth 18 and under.
For more information on COVID-19 and best practices you can share, residents can visit our website, call to connect to the Mayor’s Center for City Services by dialing 3-1-1, visit www.PVD311.com or download the PVD311 mobile app on your smartphone for 24/7 access. Residents can register to receive CodeRED emergency notifications by phone, email, text, and/or mobile alerts for the latest updates from the City. The Rhode Island Department of Health’s COVID-19 Assistance Line can be reached by dialing 401-222-8022 Monday through Friday during regular business hours should residents have additional questions.