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Letter: Critical FTR Information

Tiverton resident Roger Bennis writes a letter to the editor.

The following information regarding the increase in Tiverton taxpayer support should be considered when Tiverton residents are voting at the Financial Town Referendum of May 15, 2012. The RIGL 44-5-2 Maximum Tax Levy puts a cap on the maximum Support by Local Funds at 4.25% for 2011, and 4% for 2012.  The percent increases in support by local/Tiverton funds below were all simple calculations from Tiverton Budget Committee FTM or FTR numbers or the FTR petitioner’s budget numbers.

In 2011, (per pages 2 & 3 of the Tiverton annual FTM 2011-2012 fiscal year docket of May 14, 2011) the estimated support by local funds for the Tiverton municipal departments was $13,911,756, and was $13,812,083 for 1010, for a calculated increase of $13,911,756/$13,812,083 = 1.0072164 or a 2011 municipal departments increase in estimated support by local funds of 0.72164% in a year that had a State Cap of 4.25%.

In 2011, (per page 4 of the Tiverton annual FTM 2011-2012 fiscal year docket of May 14, 2011) the approved budget committee recommendation for estimated support by local funds for the was $21,834, 488 (and the estimated support by unrestricted state funds was $5,102,018), and the estimated support by local funds for the Tiverton School Department for the 2010-2011 Budget was $20,879,040, for a calculated increase of $21,834,488/$20,879,040 = 1.0457611 or a  2011 Tiverton School Department increase in estimated support by local funds of 4.57611% in a year that had a state cap of 4.25%.

The above numbers were calculated as indicated from the numbers in the Tiverton annual FTM 2011-2012 fiscal year docket of May 14, 2011. 

Per page 19 of the Tiverton Budget Committee for the financial town referendum Tuesday, May 15, 2012, the Budget Committee Recommendation for estimated support by local funds for the Tiverton municipal departments was $17,725,862 in 2011, and the recommended estimated support by local funds for the Tiverton Municipal Departments for 2012 is recommended at $17,943,888, for a calculated Budget Committee recommended support by local funds for the municipal departments of $17,943,888/$17,725,862 = 1.0122999% or a Budget Committee proposed 2012 municipal departments increase in support by local funds of $17,943,888/$17,725,862 = 1.0122999% or an increase of 1.23%. 

Per page 3 and the Education Aid from page 20, of the Tiverton Budget Committee proposals, resolutions and docket for the financial town referendum Tuesday, May 15, 2012, the Budget Committee recommendation for estimated support by local funds for the Tiverton School Department was $21,834,488 in 2011, and the estimated support by local funds for the Tiverton School Department for 2012 is recommended at $22,527,113, for a calculated Budget Committee recommended support by localfFunds for the Tiverton Schools of $22,527,113/$21,834,488 = 1.0317216 or a Budget Committee and School Committee proposed 2012 School Department increase in support by local funds of 3.17216%.

When we add the proposed 3.17216% to the additional 2.79492% that was received from the Tiverton taxpayers on 04/10/12 ($610,257 / $21,834,488 = 2.79492%) after the RI Department of Education decided that it could reinterpret/rewrite the RIGL, and the , the Tiverton taxpayers would be on the hook for paying a total of 3.17216% + 2.79492% = 5.96708% or a Total of a 6% increase in Tiverton taxpayer funds in 2012, in a year that has a state cap of 4.00%, during the worst depression since the 1930’s.  

Mr. Nelson’s Elector Petition for Alternate Budget Proposal

The estimated support by local Funds for the Tiverton municipal departments was $17,725,862 in 2011, and by local funds for the Tiverton municipal departments for 2012 is $18,362,787. Therefore Mr. Nelson’s recommended 2012 support by local funds for the Tiverton municipal departments is $18,362,787/$17,725,862 = or 1.035932% an increase of 3.5932.

Mr. Nelson’s recommended 2012 support by local funds for the Tiverton School Department is ($22,527,113 -$576,843)/$21,834,488 = 21,950,270/$21,834,488 = 1.0053027 or an increase of 0.53027% for 2012 to be added to the additional 2.79492% that was received from the Tiverton taxpayers on 04/10/12, for a total 3.32519% in a year that has a state cap of 4%, and the greatest Depression since the Depression of the 1930’s.  

2011 & 2012 Increase in Support By Local Funds

2011 Percent Increase in Support by Local Funds Budget Committee/School Recommended 2012 Percent Increase in Suppert by Local Funds After adding the $610,257 from taxpayers on 4/10/12, adding 2.79492 percent Budget Committee/School Recommended 2012 Percent Increase in Suppert by Local Funds Petitioner Nelson and/or Town Council Recommended 2012 Percent Increase in Suppert by Local Funds Tiverton Municipal Departments 0.72164% 1.23% 1.23% 3.5932% Tiverton School Department 4.57611% 3.17216% 6% 0.53027%/* 3.32519%

*NOTE: 0.53027% before adding the $610,257 from taxpayers on 04/10/12, and 3.32519% After adding the $610,257 from taxpayers on 04/10/12

Roger Bennis
Tiverton

Joe Sousa. May 07, 2012 at 10:12 AM
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Joe Sousa. May 07, 2012 at 10:14 AM
FORT BENNING, Ga. — Gas from Fort Benning’s landfill will soon be used to make electric power. The west Georgia Army post is teaming up with FlexEnergy Inc. for the project. Fort Benning officials say the landfill will convert landfill gas into enough renewable electricity to power 250 homes. They say using the waste will create clean energy with zero emissions. The Columbus Ledger-Enquirer reports that Vernon Duck, Fort Benning’s energy manager, says the clean electricity will power internal operations and help reach the Department of Defense’s goals of energy independence, renewable energy and sustainability.
Joe Sousa. May 07, 2012 at 10:22 AM
Tiverton could boast a success like this if we could come together to work toward it. United we stand Divided we fall
Joe Sousa. May 07, 2012 at 10:31 AM
JOHNSTON RI.– Ridgewood Renewable Power LLC, an international energy company, plans to spend $80 million over the next two years to construct a state-of-the-art gas-to-electric power plant at the state Central Landfill, company executives and state officials announced today. Ridgewood has been operating gas-to-electric facilities – converting the natural gas produced by decomposing garbage into energy – at the landfill since 1996. (READ MORE) The new plant will more than double the company’s on-site generating capacity, from 20 megawatts at present to 47.6 megawatts when the project is completed, probably in 2010.
Joe Sousa. May 07, 2012 at 10:34 AM
Plants like this ,and an uncorrupted Legislature could bring our Electric Costs down making RI. a little more business friendly.
Tom May 07, 2012 at 11:11 AM
Stick to engineering Roger.
Tiverton Dad May 07, 2012 at 11:37 AM
Underfunded schools + elimination of sports and after school activities x families shunning Tiverton = ghost town.
Renee Cwiek May 07, 2012 at 11:48 AM
I can never understand why everyone goes on and on about how much money the school needs compared to the municipal Departments. Doesn't it seem obvious it would need more money considering how many children are in the school? And I'm sorry...I only skimmed your article. It was long and tedious. I couldn't be bothered.
KSilvia May 07, 2012 at 12:27 PM
Agree Renee, On all counts.
KSilvia May 07, 2012 at 12:38 PM
Agree Joe, but I just don't see that happening with the TCC group in charge. I know that you support them at times, but it seems nothing the schools do will ever be enough. Also, the hypocrisy of funding (or overfunding) the government that they control is just shocking. However, having talked with LOTS of people over the last few weeks, I am encouraged by your group. I understand a lot of different viewpoints were represented but through debates and compromise, the budget committee managed to come together for the town. Thank you
Sherry Raposa May 07, 2012 at 01:31 PM
I could be wrong, but haven't we already been taxed on the $610,257? I am pretty sure we have been. This money seems to be mentioned over and over again by the TCC.
Just Another Taxpayer May 07, 2012 at 04:43 PM
I do not know who makes less sense, this letter or one of Jim L's grammatically challenged diatribes? The bottom line is this, Nelson's Alternate Budget cuts the schools by $587,000 while adding $400,000 to the municipal budget. Under both budget scenarios, the Town gets just about all their priorities while under Nelson's budget the School Department will have to close an elementary school or eliminate all of it's after school programming including athletics and band. What is wrong with this picture?
KSilvia May 07, 2012 at 05:34 PM
Yes Sherry that is correct. That was the whole point of the lawsuit. Seems like some poeple simply aren't good losers.
Karen Bodington May 07, 2012 at 05:37 PM
"When we add the proposed 3.17216% to the additional 2.79492% that was received from the Tiverton taxpayers on 04/10/12 ($610,257 / $21,834,488 = 2.79492%) after the RI Department of Education decided that it could reinterpret/rewrite the RIGL, and the Supreme Court refused to consider the dispute" not for 'nuthin as they say....this $$ was already added to the appropriated figures....BUT WAS NOT RECEIVED.....So Mr. Benis, aren't you READDING $ that were already in the appropriation....I'm no accountant, but it seems to me that adding money, twice, makes a mess of your calculation.
Jane Doe May 07, 2012 at 06:53 PM
ELIMINATE LIBRARY FUNDING CUTS. SUPPORT NELSON PETITION. PLEASE VOTE YES ON BUDGET PROPOSAL #2.
Just Another Taxpayer May 07, 2012 at 06:54 PM
I am shocked that Mr. Bennis a known TCC supporter would publish inaccurate information. Are we seeing a pattern here with the TCC crowd? The TCC is hoping residents will be distracted with erroneous information and not pay attention to Mr. Nelson's proposed budget which would increase municipal spending but at the same time cripple/destroy the School Department
Jane Doe May 07, 2012 at 06:56 PM
ELIMINATE DEEP CUTS TO PAY-AS-YOU-THROW RECYCLING PROGRAM. SUPPORT NELSON'S PETITION. PLEASE VOTE YES ON BUDGET PROPOSAL #2
Just Another Taxpayer May 07, 2012 at 07:05 PM
Nancy/Ruth, over $500,000 is being budget for the landfill account. Currently $168,000 is placed in the account annually. How is the Budget Committee's Proposed Budget going to "cut" funding for the landfill. More TCC disinformation.
Tiverton Dad May 07, 2012 at 07:22 PM
Jane Doe, please stop pretending that you care about the library (laughable) and the landfill (I doubt you even know where it is). All you and the TCC crowd care about is sticking it to the schools and winning the vote. This may be just a big game to you, but Nelson's budget will actually make things worse and hurt real people. Vote for the Budget Committee proposal #1.
Just Another Taxpayer May 07, 2012 at 07:22 PM
Jane Doe, or may I call Nancy? There seems to be some inconsistencies with your posts. You want to increase Town spending i.e. the library while at the same time you support cutting the school department's budget. Yet you criticize the Budget Committee's Budget Proposal because they want to eliminate a tax(Pay as you throw.) What do you stand for increased spending or cut spending? Which is it?
Jane Doe May 07, 2012 at 07:49 PM
Just another Taxpayer or should I call you Just another Redshirt. Stop shilling for the Budget Committee who is infested with 7 or 8 red shirts, led by the Head RedShirt, Mr. Cotta who is obsessed with trash talking the TCC and destroying the FTR. He is so preoccupied with such counterproductive activity that his budget completely leaves out the School Committee salaries but if you look at the Docket you will see proposed salaries for all other elected officials, Town Clerk, Town Council. Town Sargeant, Town Treasurer, Probate Judge. So why is Cotta showing favoritism and hiding the School Committees salaries from the taxpayers. What is their salary Just another Redshirt? 1,000, 5,000, $10,000. This stunt by the Budget Committee does not pass the smell test. Support the Nelson petition and restore funds for a new rescue vehicle for the Fire department. There are changes blowing in the wind Just another Redshirt and you still do not get it.
Renee Cwiek May 07, 2012 at 08:06 PM
My shirt is blue and I'm voting for the budget committee's proposal.
Just Another Taxpayer May 07, 2012 at 09:38 PM
Nancy, I can call you Nancy? Your post is right out of the TCC Playbook, attack the person when you can't you can't defend your position with facts. The Nelson Budget cuts the School Department by $587,000 while increasing municipal spending by an additional $400,000 above the amount recommended by the Budget Committee. Your argument is hypocritical to say the least!
Jane Doe May 07, 2012 at 09:44 PM
@Renee. Good for you. That is what a Democracy is all about. While I hope the Nelson proposal wins voter approval I wish you luck on May 15.
Jane Doe May 07, 2012 at 09:52 PM
Just another Taxpayer. You are avoiding the factual statement I made that the Docket does not state the proposed salaries for the School Committee members. Stop with the diversionary drivel and if you dispute my assertion then tell me where I can find the proposed School Committee salaries in the docket. Either provide the page number or concede that I have defended my position with facts. Personally I don't think you have the class to apologize.
BD May 07, 2012 at 09:55 PM
Jane/Nancy, your drivel isn't very creative or any less agenda driven. This makes just as much sense: Should I call you Just another yellow shirt. Stop shilling for the TCC/TC who is infested with 4 yellow shirts, led by the Head yellow Shirt, Mr. Nelson who is obsessed with trash talking the budget committee and destroying the FTM. He is so preoccupied with such counterproductive activity that HIS budget completely leaves out the School Committee salaries but if you look at the Docket you will see proposed salaries for all other elected officials, Town Clerk, Town Council. Town Sargeant, Town Treasurer, Probate Judge. So why is Nelson showing favoritism and hiding the salaries from the taxpayers, especially for his pet's HR "assistant". What is their salary increase? 1,000, 5,000, $10,000. This stunt by the TCC does not pass the smell test. Support the Nelson petition if you want to restore unnecessary and unrequested funds for a new rescue vehicle for the Fire department. There are changes blowing in the wind and the TCC does not get it.
Renee Cwiek May 07, 2012 at 10:05 PM
Jane, why wouldn't Mr. Nelson answer taxpayer and parents questions about what he suggests the school committee cut from their budget? As a parent, sitting back and watching the question not being answered is worrisome. I'm sorry, but I expect more from our elected officials. Was it really that hard to answer?
Mike Burk May 08, 2012 at 03:32 AM
There you go again, Roger, putting forth inaccurate information to fit your argument. Look again at p. 4 of the 2011 docket. See Footnote #2 at the bottom? It clearly states that FY11 state education aid decreased. State law requires the local appropriation to cover the difference (yes, the same law upheld by the Commissioner, the Board of Regent and by the Supreme Court by denying a hearing - sorry, forgot to mention that this TCC led litigation effort was paid for with TAXPAYER funds). So FY11 local educational aid was $21,128,297 and the actual school budget increase from FY11 to FY12 was $784,379 or 3.74%. Lest we forget, the $610,000 returned to the school district on 4/10/12 after the TCC lost its TAXPAYER funded litigation was approved by the Financial Town Meeting as part of the school budgets in FY10 and FY11. Roger, you don't get to count that money twice! We have been taxed already for those funds - these are not part of the FY 13 budget discussion at all! My 17 year old attended the May 1st Financial Town Hearing. Later I asked her what would happen if she presented a paper in class in the same manner that David Nelson presented his budget proposal that night. She said she would clearly fail because no facts were presented to support the argument made. Roger, I haven't asked her about your letter but I think she would say the same. Oh, and can your TCC pay back the town for the $80,000 in litigation fees it cost us for their legal battle?
Just Another Taxpayer May 08, 2012 at 11:23 AM
Nancy, you and your fellow TCCer's are the ones employing diversionary tactics because you can't defend Mr. Nelson's budget which cuts $587,000 from the School Department but increases municipal spending by $400,000 Regarding your "concerns" RI state law states the appropriating authority in any city or town can only reduce the bottom line of a school department's budget. Second as Mr. Cotta stated at the May 1st meeting this information has never been included as part of the docket.
Just Another Taxpayer May 08, 2012 at 01:08 PM
If NASA hired engineers like Mr. Bennis who in turn produced such inaccurate data like this, it's no wonder they are no longer in business.

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