At this week’s session of the Fall River city council during final budget preparations for the fiscal year 2021 budget, it was learned that there is a 4.7 million dollar shortfall on the municipal side.
The goal now is to find ways to reduce that figure. WSAR had conversations with a few councillors in regards to that 4.7 million dollars.
"I'm a bit upset about it,” Veteran Councilor Leo Pelletier said. “What do we do now?”
Pelletier said he realizes that the annual near 2.5% in property taxes will not be going away with this new information.
“We have had a 2.5 % property tax every year and people think we can relax on it but we can't,” he said. “We just can't. We've been paying that every year and it doesn't change. We have too many commitments to find 4.7 million dollars. It's going to be a tough thing to do.”
Council member Michelle Dionne told WSAR she wants to take a second look at values of new homes in the city that have been built in recent years.
She said that those on the council have a responsibility to the citizens of Fall River.
"As councilors, we have an obligation to realistically look at numbers and to keep tax payers informed,” Dionne said. “We have to reassure people that their dollars are going where they should and make sure they are wisely spent. And we have to make sure they don't pony up more than necessary.
“The issue for me is the new housing market with so many homes being built in the last few years,” Dionne said. “People recognize that as a source of revenue and right now, we don't have a dollar amount on how that has increased our tax base."