Mayor Scott Avedisian announced yesterday he has accepted the $288.8 million budget as enacted by the City Council. Avedisian has previously vetoed the budget amendments that were made by the Council. Eleven amendments were vetoed and ten of those vetoes were sustained by the Council.
The eleventh amendment appropriated an additional $400,000 to the Warwick Public Schools for the upcoming Fiscal Year. In allocating this additional expense, the Council failed to balance the City budget, as required by the City Charter. If the money were to be raised by taxes, the administration would need to bump up the residential property tax rate by an additional 4 cents, making for an overall increase of 27 cents.
Leaving matters as they are, Avedisian said in a statement, “This means that we would begin our upcoming fiscal year July 1, 2014 with a structural deficit of $400,000. I am meeting with the Finance Director and members of my budget team to determine the correct action to ensure the budget as finally enacted by the Council comports with the City Charter.”
“It is my desire not to raise the tax rate and I will make every effort to balance the budget through other alternatives,” Avedisian said.