No property tax increase in Cranston mayor’s latest budget

CRANSTON, R.I. (WPRI) — Cranston Mayor Allan Fung gave the final budget address of his current term Friday.

Under the Republican Mayor’s proposal, property taxes will stay the same for Cranston residents and business owners. The city council will need to approve his budget for Fiscal Year 2017, which begins July 1.

“I am pleased, incredibly pleased to announce that for the fourth time in five years, we will have no property tax increase in Cranston,” Fung said in his speech to City Council Friday evening.

Another tax will increase, according to Cranston City Council President John Lanni.

“I know that the sewer tax is going up three percent. The mayor neglected to mention that in his budget,” the Democrat told Eyewitness News Friday.

Lanni said Fung’s budget was overall a good one. It is now the city council’s job to go through it line by line to make cuts or changes before approving it.

“I’m sorry he didn’t make an effort to lower the car taxes in the city,” Lanni said. “I think that’s a sticking point with a lot of residents.”

Fung’s new budget includes increased funds for the city’s schools and libraries, and savings as a result of the city purchasing its streetlights back from National Grid.

“I’m proud to say we finished for a fourth consecutive year with a cumulative budget surplus and restored our rainy day fund to its current healthy state of $20 million,” Fung said.

Eyewitness News asked Lanni if there’s anything he would have liked to be funded more in this budget.

“Infrastructure,” he said. “I wish he could find more money to spend to fix our roads.”

The city council will hold public hearings on the budget beginning next week. They have until May 15 to approve it.

Fung announced in February that he plans to run for reelection in November against Democrat Michael Sepe.

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