With No. Smithfield's tax plan, most residents pay less

With No. Smithfield's tax plan, most residents pay less

NORTH SMITHFIELD - The town has announced the tax rates for 2014, and although there will be a slight increase on some classes of property, a revaluation saw most values lowered this year and 91 percent of residents and business owners will see a decrease in their tax bills.

"As a result of sound fiscal management and increased tangible taxes received by the town, we are pleased to announce that most will see their tax bills lowered," said Town Administrator Paulette D. Hamilton.

Northeast Revaluation Group completed the revaluation of all residential and commercial properties in January, finding that on average, the town had lost value on par with the rest of the state. Revenues, however, have been bolstered by a $2 million increase from National Grid from infrastructure improvements, allowing the town to spend $1.5 million more on expenses such as road improvements, without residents feeling the pinch.

The residential rates have increased by 61 cents per thousand dollars of value. For a property valued at $300,000, that will equate to a bill of $4,758.

Less than 10 percent of properties saw an increase in value, according to Hamilton. This number includes homeowners who upgraded their property, made significant renovations and/or put on an addition.

The commercial rate will see an even smaller increase, rising from $17.55 in 2013 to $17.57 for the new fiscal year. Commercial development in Dowling Village and elsewhere in town has helped to grow the tax base in recent years. Hamilton pointed out that North Smithfield has a fully funded pension obligation, and continues to see increased economic growth, with several projects slated to begin construction this year. These include Navigant Credit Union on Victory Highway and Walgreens in Park Square, among others.

"New businesses find the town very attractive. Our goal is to promote smart growth to increase our tax base and to provide excellent services to those who call North Smithfield home," said Hamilton.

The tax rate on tangible property, meanwhile, has decreased by 10 cents.

The 2014 tax plan also sees an increase to the exemption for motor vehicles from $500 to $675, providing some relief for that class of taxpayer.

Bills are scheduled to be sent out this week and the town has asked that residents mail their payments to reduce wait time at the tax collector's office.

A comparison between 2013 and 2014 tax rates is as follows:

Residential: $15.25 in FY2013, $15.86 in FY 2014

Commercial: $17.55 in FY2013 and $17.57 in FY 2014

Tangible: $42.85 in FY2013 and $42.75 in FY 2014