Here is some information important to the citizens of Portsmouth concerning the economic health of the Town.
Types of Properties that are Assessed Tax
Basically, there are four types of taxed properties:
These properties are occupied by year-round residents of the Town. They spend more than 6 months per year here and have an average of 2.5 children in our schools.
These are dwellings that are "seasonal: in nature.” Typically, they are high value resort properties (like at Carnegie Abbey) and have residents that spend relatively few months in Portsmouth. They, typically, do not have any children attending our public schools.
These properties are used for commercial enterprises. It includes Industrial, Utilities and Tangible Property.
These include any undeveloped land in the town. Some privately owned, some owned by the Town (like Glen Farm), and some are owned by some specific negotiated agreement (such as the Town owning the development rights and in partnership with the Aquidneck Land Trust, etc.)
What percentage of the tax base is residential?
Over 80% of the tax base is on residential properties.
So, why do people say building residences is bad?
Well, traditional residences are what we call "revenue negative" in that for every tax dollar they pay, they command about a dollar and sixteen cents ($1.16) in services. In the chart below, you can see that Commercial, Open Space and Recreational Residences are "revenue positive" in that they command less than a dollar for every dollar they pay in property taxes.
The Value of Commercial and Recreational-Residential Properties to the Town.
For every 14 traditional residences we build, we need to construct a large, commercial building to offset the loss. You can see the effect for the past few years in the next graph.
The offsetting effect of having commercial and recreational properties in our Town actually reduces the overall tax burden placed on the Town's year-round residents.