Tough Fiscal Road Ahead for Newport

Newport taxpayers should prepare for two consecutive years of tax hikes and long-term fiscal challenges with school and water infrastructure, officials claim.
"We only adopt the budget for one year.
Newport City Council got a first look at the $138 million budget for fiscal 2018 at a lightly attended budget workshop held May 2 at Newport City Hall.
The proposed budget increases funding for the school department by 1.5 percent in both fiscal years.
The rate is going up from $17 to $18.36 in fiscal 2018, and $18.36 to $19.96 in fiscal 2019.
However, although the city may challenge the extent of the improvements, there is no question repairs are needed, he said.
A non-binding question to residents, asking if they supported the concept of a unified high school, appeared on the 2014 ballots in Newport and Middletown.
Middletown schools are facing the same challenges we are, with declining enrollment and aging school buildings."
Sitrin showed councilors a slide, demonstrating that even if the city increased taxes and water rates exceed the maximum allowed under state law across many years, the city would still be unable to fund the school and water improvements.
You can see why we are always after additional revenues," said Nicholson.

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