Mayor Domenic J. Sarno after consulting with Chief Administrative and Finance Officer (CAFO) TJ Plante and Chairman of the Board of Assessors Richie Allen, announce $1 million of relief for city taxpayers as part of the Mayor’s continued efforts to provide relief and assistance during the COVID-19 Coronavirus pandemic.
The Mayor will be filing an order for Council approval, to appropriate $1 million from free cash to reduce the tax levy and rates. The City Council is preparing to consider FY21 tax rates for all classes of property at their Monday, December 7, 2020 meeting.
The Board of Assessors recently received Department of Revenue (DOR) approval of FY21 valuations totaling $9.4 billion and new growth of $6.7 million in additional tax levy. The tax levy is the total amount billed to all taxpayers in the city. The new growth is in addition to the $5.4 million in tax levy related to the annual allowed 2 ½ percent increase. The two components combine for a levy limit of $228.5 million, an allowed increase of $12.1 million over last year’s levy. The Mayor’s decision to transfer the $1 million in free cash reduces the city’s tax levy to $227.5M.
Mayor Sarno stated, “I know we are all living in surreal and challenging times and everyone is experiencing some form of financial burden as we continue the delicate balancing act of maintaining core and vital services while being respectful to our taxpayers. As such, I am pleased to present this reduction in levy, to help restrain the increase on tax bills during this public health emergency when so many families and businesses are trying to cope with the financial consequences of the COVID-19 Coronavirus pandemic. Throughout this public health crisis, the city has continued to provide services for our residents and business community. In addition, my administration has continued to offer multiple crucial assistance programs to help our residents and businesses deal with the challenges brought forth by this surreal pandemic.”
CAFO Plante stated, “Thanks to our careful fiscal responsibility, Mayor Sarno has directed the Office of A&F to provide this much needed relief for our tax paying residents and businesses.”
Chairman of the Board of Assessors Richie Allen stated, “The taxpayers will realize less of an increase in their bills as a result of this decision.”
To date, the City of Springfield has provided over $8.4 million of federal Block Grant assistance to combat the economic, health, and housing insecurity, which has negatively impacted so many Springfield residents and businesses. This funding has supported $1.1 million in critical COVID related community public services, $2.2 million in direct economic development assistance to small businesses, and $5.1 million in emergency housing assistance and homelessness programing.
Some of these relief initiatives and assistance programs to our residents and business community during the COVID-19 Coronavirus pandemic include:
- $1.5 million in Prime the Pump Grants
- $225,000 in First Round for Restaurants
- $500,000 in Second Round for Small Businesses
- $500,000 in Third Round for Small Businesses
- $250,000 in Fourth Round for Non-Profit Organizations
- $2 million for Mortgage, Rent and Utility Assistance and Relief for Residents
- Through partnership with Way Finders
- $900,000 for Common Capital Loan Program for Businesses
- $3.5 million for Homeless Services
- Over $2.2 million to Catholic Charities
- Over $342,000 to Clinical and Support Options – Friends of the Homeless
- $400,000 to New North Citizens Council
- Over $500,000 to YWCA of Western Massachusetts
In addition, Mayor Sarno has supported numerous measures and programs to provide relief and assistance to our residents and businesses in need.
- Over 4.5 million meals given out as part of the Springfield Public Schools Meals Program and at the Oasis Food Bank
- Mayor Sarno and Chief Development Officer (CDO) Tim Sheehan had sent a letter to local small businesses, who had contacted the city seeking assistance, encouraging them to take advantage of the Massachusetts Growth Capital Corporation (MGCC) grant program, which had allocated over $50 million in grants for small businesses that have been adversely impacted by the COVID-19 Coronavirus pandemic
- Mayor Sarno asked the License Commission to Waive Liquor License Renewal Fees for 2021 for local Restaurants and Pouring Establishments