Proposed FY22 Budget builds on past investments, makes recommendations for American Rescue Plan funds and prepares residents and business owners for post-COVID world
PROVIDENCE, RI – Mayor Jorge O. Elorza today proposed a $539,937,743 municipal budget for the Fiscal Year 2022 (FY22) for the City of Providence that builds on past investments to position Providence as a leading American city and prepares residents and businesses for a post-COVID world. The Mayor delivered an update to residents and businesses via Facebook to outline budget investments. Residents can read the speech and explore the budget online.
“This budget builds on the work we have done in the last six years,” said Mayor Jorge O. Elorza. “For years, my administration has been budgeting responsibly, finding savings whenever possible and eliminating redundancy and waste. Tonight, I have introduced a new budget and laid out my vision for how the American Rescue Plan Act can complement and expand upon the work we’ve been doing. These funds will help us to enact an energetic, forward-thinking agenda while delivering and sustaining it in a way that positions Providence as a leading American city.”
The FY22 proposed budget holds the line on property taxes and provides tangible tax relief for 40% of all businesses, while still making key investments in various areas. Mayor Elorza’s proposal includes $15M in investments to benefit youth and libraries using federal funds provided to the City through the American Rescue Plan Act. It also includes more than $16M in federal funding through the American Rescue Plan Act to cover projected revenue shortfalls and eligible expenditures related to the City’s ongoing response to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Mayor Elorza is positioning Providence as a national model of inclusion and equity, and centering community voices in new programming and policies. The FY22 proposed budget includes $100k to support the Truth-Telling, Reconciliation and Reparations process that began last summer. The next step in the process, Community Reconciliation, will include several months of engagement and discussion across the community, reflecting on the information and research compiled during the Truth Telling Phase. The budget also includes funding for two new positions: A Community Relations and Diversion Services Major within the Providence Police Department, as well as a Managing Director of Equity and Inclusion in the City’s Human Resources Department.
Mayor Elorza’s proposed FY22 budget also invests in the outreach supports for the most vulnerable residents in Providence. These investments include $330k in neighborhood-based services for people experiencing homelessness or suffering from substance use disorders, at risk of overdoses, and/or in need of social service support throughout the City. The budget includes $600k for a Behavioral Health and Social Services Diversion Program. In FY22, 10% of the tax revenue from projects with a Tax Stabilization Agreement (TSA) will be dedicated to support debt service on the $25M Providence Redevelopment Agency Special Obligation Bond that funded the Providence Housing Trust in FY21.
“Over the past year, our country has reckoned with instances of racial and social injustice in a way that we haven’t seen in over 50 years,” said Mayor Jorge O. Elorza. “Just a few weeks ago, surrounded by participants from this same group, we unveiled the report, completing the first phase of the Truth, Reconciliation & Reparations process. This budget includes funding to engage the broader public in this Reconciliation work and I ask everyone throughout the city to participate. I know that these conversations are sometimes uncomfortable, but that is the point. I look forward to continuing this important work and better aligning our city with the principles of equity and justice.”
As students continue social distancing learning for the rest of the school year due to COVID-19, Mayor Elorza is committed to mitigating lost learning opportunities by offering summer programs for all Providence youth. The FY22 proposed budget includes funding for One Providence for youth: Employment and Advanced Internships, Summer Learning Opportunities, PVD Young Makers, and the nationally recognized PVDTalks program. The budget also includes $350k to expand the number of pre-kindergarten classrooms in Providence, increasing access to quality early learning programs, as well as an increased contribution of up to $4.8M for the Providence Public School District pending the finalization of the District’s budget.
In addition to continued repairs to school facilities, Mayor Elorza announced the continued investments in critical infrastructure through FY22. The City borrowed $115 million in FY20 for capital projects, which has supported investments identified in FY20 and $65.5 million invested in FY22. These investments build upon the $126M in projects that have been completed over the last three years since the Administration introduced a first-of-its-kind comprehensive Capital Improvement Plan (CIP) in 2017. This budget will invest $550k to reimagine a PVDFest spread out over several months.
“As spring rolls in and the construction season begins, be on the lookout for the further transformation of our public parks system, for more speed bumps and road improvements, and more Safe Streets enhancements throughout our City,” said Providence Mayor Jorge O. Elorza. “I know that we’re all itching to get out and enjoy the summer together. Once it is safe, we are planning a new and expanded PVDFest experience and we’ll find creative ways to bring neighbors together, block-by-block.”
Mayor Elorza’s proposed FY22 budget can be accessed online on the Open Data Portal and is subject to approval by the Providence City Council. For more information on COVID-19 and best practices that can be shared, residents can visit our website, call to connect to the Mayor’s Center for City Services by dialing 3-1-1, visiting www.PVD311.com or downloading 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 and to reach out to the Rhode Island Department of Health’s COVID-19 Assistance Line at 401-222-8022 Monday through Friday during regular business hours should they have additional questions.