Cranston taxpayers will not see a tax increase next year as Cranston Mayor Allan W. Fung has proposed a flat budget of $246 million.
But some residents will be paying more and some less due to the statistical revaluation this year that showed a 13 percent drop in the median property value. That means if your house's assessed value decreased more than 13 percent, the tax burden will shift away from you and your bill will go down.
But if your property decreased in value less than 13 percent, your tax bill will increase next year. Cold comfort if you're looking at a 10 percent value drop.
If approved, the mayor's budget calls for a tax rate of $22.88 per $1,000 of assessed value for residential property. For commercial, it's $34.32.
Last year, the residential rate was $20.26 and the commercial rate was $30.59.
"I wish that I was presenting this budget in a normal year," Fung said, "so everyone could be sure their taxes wouldn't change, for once."
Still, for Fung to present the City Council a flat budget at a time when other municipalities in Rhode Island are grappling with huge deficits, his proposed budget demonstrates Cranston has reached a level of stability after years of what felt like emergency surgery at budget time.
That isn't to say the city doesn't have enormous — and mounting — problems, such as its unfunded pension liability, which has increased to about $275 million.
Fung presented his budget to the City Council at a special meeting tonight (Friday).
For more about the fiscal 2013 budget, check back later.