April 11, 2018

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Latest News, Rhode Island

FUNG FACT CHECK: Allan Fung’s Record of Tax Hikes and Financial Mismanagement

As Mayor Allan Fung tries to cover up his record of economic failure, Rhode Islanders are reminded of the facts: Under Mayor Fung, Cranston has become one of the highest taxed communities in Rhode Island, yet the town’s struggling schools aren’t seeing the resources they need. During his tenure on City Council and as Mayor, Fung has raised taxes on Cranston residents nine separate times.

“Failed candidate Fung tried to cover up his record today, but Rhode Islanders know that he’s repeatedly jacked up taxes on Cranston residents,” said DGA Communications Director Jared Leopold. “Fung has raised taxes on Cranston residents a whopping nine times. Yet schools there struggle with insufficient funding, and Fung’s own city council has called him out for gross mismanagement. Mayor Fung, actions speak louder than words.”

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BACKGROUND:
Fung’s Proposed Budget Included A 2.1% Tax Increase To Pay For “Investments” Across Cranston. The Cranston Herald reported, “Cranston Mayor Allan W. Fung presented his proposed 2017-18 budget to the City Council Friday night, saying that the next fiscal year would focus on ‘investments’ across Cranston. Fung proposed a 2.1 percent tax rate increase to help fund the additional contributions to education and infrastructure, among numerous other initiatives to come.” [Cranston Herald, 5/5/17]

The City Council Approved A 2.18 Percent Tax Increase In The FY 2017 – 2018 Budget. The Cranston Herald reported, “The Cranston City Council approved a $284.6 million city budget for 2017-18 at a special meeting Monday night, setting aside an extra $420,795 for the school department in contingency funds in the process. […] The 2.18 percent tax increase, which is 49 cents per $1,000, was something first-term Ward 2 Councilman Paul McAuley couldn’t support. If approved by the mayor, the tax increase would mean an additional $98 in real estate taxes for a home assessed at $200,000.” [Cranston Herald, 5/10/17]

In 2016, Cranston Residents Were The Eighth Highest Taxed Residents Of Any Locality In Rhode Island. GoLocalProv reported, “GoLocalProv has ranked communities from the least to the highest taxed on the basis of their tax rates, using data from the state Division of Municipal Finance. #8 Cranston. Taxes for median single family home: $4,878.38, Taxes for 2010 Honda Accord: $560.20, Total: $5,438.58, Median Household Income: $58,684, Total taxes as a percent of median income: 9.2%” [GoLocalProv,4/4/16]

School Officials Argued That The Schools Did Not See Any Of The Money From The Property Tax Increases. The Providence Journal reported, “School officials contend that while property taxes have gone up, the schools have not seen any of that money. We were underfunded for two years, Lombardi said, and then we were level-funded for another three years.” [The Providence Journal, 2/25/11]

Cranston council expresses no confidence in Mayor Fung in 5-to-4 vote. The Providence Journal reported, “By a 5-to-4 vote, the City Council Monday night declared that it has ‘no confidence’ in Mayor Allan W. Fung to continue to lead city government. In a resolution, the council said its lack of confidence is based on a report by the Rhode Island State Police that found the Cranston Police Department was “grossly mismanaged” under Fung’s leadership.” [Providence Journal, 8/24/15]

Allan Fung raised taxes on Cranston residents nine times in his fifteen years as City Councilman and as Mayor:

2003: Councilman Fung voted in favor of a supplemental property tax increase and a property tax increase in the FY 2004 budget. [Cranston City Council, Minutes, 1/31/03] and [Cranston City Council, Minutes, 5/14/03]

2004: 
Councilman Fung voted for an increase in property tax in FY 2005 budget.[Cranston City Council, Minutes,5/6/04]

2009: 
Mayor Fung’s proposed budget included a property tax increase for FY 2010.[The Providence Journal, 4/1/09]

2010: 
Mayor Fung proposed a supplemental car tax and a FY 2011 budget with property tax increase. [The Providence Journal, 4/2/10] and [Providence Journal, 6/16/10]

2011: 
Mayor Fung’s proposed FY 2012 budget included a property tax increase. [The Providence Journal, 4/1/11]

2015: 
Mayor Fung’s proposedFY 2016 budget included a property tax increase.[Cranston Patch, 4/1/15]

2017: Mayor Fung’s proposed FY 2018 budget included a property tax increase. [Cranston Herald,5/5/17]