June Survey Statistics, Results, Graph and Charts

Survey Report: June 2013






 4 mins
 “The city could save half a million dollars.” We heard this first from Harry Winthrop at an ALN forum in April. Now we have Naomi Neville’s comments in the Newport Daily News’ Guest View column of 5/28/13 making a clear case for combining School Committee and city resources in managing finances and other administrative services for the schools. Do you think this would this be a good idea?
Yes : 61.47%No : 11.01%Maybe : 27.52%
Answer Count Percent
20% 40% 60% 80% 100%
1. Yes 134 61.47%
2. No 24 11.01%
3. Maybe 60 27.52%
Total 218 100%
Mean: 1.661
Confidence Interval @ 95%: [1.543 – 1.778]
Standard Deviation: 0.882
Standard Error: 0.060
 The summer season has begun! In spite of the fact that Newport has ordinances in many neighborhoods prohibiting rentals of less than a month, there is a growing “underground” business in Newport rentals of a week or less operated by individual homeowners. Are you in favor of short-term rentals in most of Newport’s neighborhoods?
Answer Count Percent
20% 40% 60% 80% 100%
1. Yes 82 38.86%
2. No 83 39.34%
3. Maybe 46 21.80%
Total 211 100%
Mean: 1.829
Confidence Interval @ 95%: [1.727 – 1.932]
Standard Deviation: 0.762
Standard Error: 0.052
 It has been suggested by a City Council member that property taxpayers whose legal residence is in Newport receive a discount on their taxes. Opponents argue that such an arrangement would discourage second home ownership in Newport, which has been a financial boon to the city.   Do you favor a two-tier property tax system?
Answer Count Percent
20% 40% 60% 80% 100%
1. Yes 82 40.59%
2. No 88 43.56%
3. Maybe 32 15.84%
Total 202 100%
Mean: 1.752
Confidence Interval @ 95%: [1.654 – 1.851]
Standard Deviation: 0.711
Standard Error: 0.050

Survey Question #3 Responses – Do you favor a two-tier property tax system?

ADD your responses below! Or post them on our Facebook page! Share this with your Newport neighbors, tell us what you think! Your voice, your community, your opinion matters!


 It has been suggested by a City Council member that property taxpayers whose legal residence is in Newport receive a discount on their taxes. Opponents argue that such an arrangement would discourage second home ownership in Newport, which has been a financial boon to the city.  
Do you favor a two-tier property tax system?
06/03/2013 7581023 [No]
The last thing Newport should be doing is discouraging second home ownership. Non-resident owners contribute equally to the cost of Newport’s services while utilizing fewer of those services, benefiting Newport residents. A prime example is the costs of Newport’s schools.
06/05/2013 7607639 [Yes]
A tax exemption would be a benefit to our year round residents. Too many homes are “dark” in the offseason, and while we don’t have to pay to educate children in those homes, having vacant homes is damaging the fabric of our community.
I’m not sure that seasonal ownership is a financial boon to anyone but the person who sells their house to someone who wants to live here for 10 weeks of the year.
06/05/2013 7607714 [Yes]
If one wants a second home here they can afford a little more taxes…..most rent them out for Salve in winter
06/05/2013 7607915 [Yes]
We should be encouraging year-round occupancy and building a stronger community around year-round people.
06/06/2013 7610587 [Yes]
People who can afford a second home are not that worried about a slightly higher tax bill.
06/06/2013 7610759 [Yes]
For those of us who live in Newport and this is our primary property, many of us are struggling with increase in taxes and utilities. Where else will we go? If Newport is a second property, and often an income property. As beautiful as Newport is, please make our stay in Newport more pleasant by adjusting the cost of our primary home here and discount our taxes. We keep the town beautiful and give a charm to the properties to encourage others to come here.
06/06/2013 7610787 [Yes]
Might not make much difference to those who can afford a second home in Newport. How much of a differential? Perhaps the second tier could be those who own residential property as investment only, as multiple units stress the infrastructure and resources more than vacation owners.
06/06/2013 7610965 [No]
There must be other ways of rewarding Newport’s legal, voting residents. How about free or reduced fee parking in some of the city’s lots? How about reduced beach rates?
06/06/2013 7611821 [No]
I don’t think that would be fair. I also don’t think it’s fair that most condos seem to be taxed at a higher rate than single homes.
06/06/2013 7616744 [No]
Our property taxes are relatively low as it is (as a percentage of home value). Permanent residents use more services, part-timers spend more money here that was earned somewhere else. That’s already well enough balanced in my mind.
06/06/2013 7623705 [Yes]
Think proper residents should get a break over people who buy primarily for investment & rent – they are nit really a meaningful part of the neighborhood & sometimes affect the neighborhood in a negative manner
06/06/2013 7625136 [Yes]
If 2nd home ownership declines, maybe then middle class families will be able to afford to live in Newport.
06/06/2013 7631741 [No]
Discriminatory and unfair to those part time residents who generally use fewer services
06/07/2013 7640100 [No]
Year-round residents use the services provided through property taxes more than 2nd home owners. I’d be happier if the city fined 2nd home owners for not shoveling their sidewalks when it snows.
06/07/2013 7641274 [Yes]
Again, the locals put up with traffic and rude visitors, crowds etc and most of us do not profit from the huge influx of tourist. our life becomes more difficult in the summer. i dread tourist season. we should at least have a break on our taxes.
06/09/2013 7656513 [No]
Pay the assessed taxes or stay out of the fray. This again would only enhance the rich.
06/09/2013 7656815 [Yes]
Newport needs fewer second homes and more year round residents who are the backbone of a flourishing urban enviroment
06/09/2013 7657054 [Yes]
Second homeowners may be taking up housing resources that the working class, middle-class need to remain in the city and contribute to the life of the community.
06/09/2013 7657569 [Yes]
Even if you own 2or more homes in the city, you should get a local tax break on the home in which you reside, not the other(s). After all, you are making money on those other homes. Common sense.
06/09/2013 7657693 [Yes]
or Homestead credit
06/09/2013 7657822 [No]
First time hearing of this, but doesn’t that seem a little backward? The folks who are living here are using more resources than those who have the property as a second home. However, if you tie this to the previous question – could there be differences in taxation based on owner-occupied residences, part-time residences (not rented out while the owner is away), yearly rentals and short term rentals.
06/09/2013 7657856 [Yes]
The problem is not out-of-town summer residents, but absentee landlords. My street is a mixture of resident and out-of-town owners. We residents have the year-round burden of maintaining our neighborhoods while struggling with issues such as parking. In my neighborhood, there are many multi-family dwellings without off-street parking (grandfathered). Their tenants hog the on-street parking places, and long-term (aging!) residents are pushed farther and farther away from their homes. The least we could get from the city would be a discount on our taxes without having to endure the humiliation of pleading poverty and old age.
06/09/2013 7658152 [No]
We’re residents, but still, a two-tier system would be unfair. Plus, we use most of the resources.
06/09/2013 7658208 [No]
Why discriminate? Ridiculous. Those with legal residence more than anyone should support local services and infrasructure. Odd idea. Water, crime, and schools…hello.
06/09/2013 7659436 [No]
The last word in taxation without representation. The non-resident taxpayer with a second home vacant much of the year is far less of a burden on municipal infrastructure and public services than the full time resident landowner.
06/09/2013 7659687 [Yes]
The city is in desperate need of year-around residents to support a more stable, robust, and multi dimensional economy. Perhaps a tax system that favors residents as opposed to second home owners is a solid, structural way to built that. The second home market drives up prices yet provides little else for the economy year-around.
06/10/2013 7664441 [Yes]
Those who own a second home in Newport drive up the prices of homes making it harder for year around residents to find affordable places to live.
06/10/2013 7666770 [No]
No tax discounts for ex military either
06/10/2013 7667750 [Yes]
So many ordinances in Newport favor those who are second home owners. The town caters to tourism at the expense of year-round residents. Give year-rounders a break on at least one thing that will save them money and encourage goodwill that the city actually cares about its year-round residents.
06/10/2013 7668441 [Yes]
We need to encourage year-round residency – and a preferred residents tax would help. People who choose Newport for a second home MIGHT be discouraged by a differential tax rate – but they choose Newport because they LOVE Newport, not because of a tax status.
06/10/2013 7668946 [No]
would drive down house prices. if anything primary residences should pay more because they use more services!! consider a 1% “mansion tax” on property sales over $1 million!
06/10/2013 7670416 [Yes]
Many of those that have a second home rent it out for high fees and the locals are left to deal with the issue as a result.

Survey Question #2 Responses – Short Term Rentals?

ADD your responses below! Or post them on our Facebook page! Share this with your Newport neighbors, tell us what you think! Your voice, your community, your opinion matters!

 The summer season has begun! In spite of the fact that Newport has ordinances in many neighborhoods prohibiting rentals of less than a month, there is a growing “underground” business in Newport rentals of a week or less operated by individual homeowners. Are you in favor of short-term rentals in most of Newport’s neighborhoods?
06/03/2013 7581023 [Yes]
Permitting short-term rentals must be combined with better enforcement of regulations reining in excesses of “party houses.”
06/05/2013 7607714 [No]
That is what hotels are for
06/06/2013 7610587 [Yes]
It’s happening anyway. Might as well go with it.
06/06/2013 7611297 [Yes]
why not will bring in more business and taxes
06/06/2013 7611492 [Yes]
short term is probably preferable as it involves people who make a short term commitment..not like the horrible tenant you cannot get rid of! The renters of short term are sometimes I assume family friends…or people who know people…what is the reason to not allow it?
06/06/2013 7610965 [Yes]
It’s happening everywhere. There are websites dedicated to the rental business and no one can stop it. Suggest the city find a way to collect some money from these rentals.
06/06/2013 7611917 [No]
Length of stay is not the issue. Responsible renting is !!! You can rent for a week to quality renters and all is fine. You can rent for a month and have mutiple families or singles rotating use. It is unfair to punish Newport residents with the current unfair rule while all the surrounding towns allow short term renting. What we need to do is clean out the slum landlords in this town who rent to bunches of people whether it’s 1 week or 1 year !!!!
06/06/2013 7613156 [No]
this is not fair to permanenet residents of Newport. Parking is already at a premium in the summer months and this will add to the problem.
06/06/2013 7613351 [Yes]
People should be able to use their property as they see fit. As long as it doesn’t infringe on the neighbors use of their property.
06/06/2013 7613901 [No]
if you ever lived next to a party house you would say “NO” !!
06/06/2013 7620920 [Yes]
Weekly rentals attract families.
06/06/2013 7623827 [No]
If private homes want to rent one and two day rooms- let them meet hotel safetey requirements
06/06/2013 7623705 [No]
Wanted to hit “maybe” but couldn’t get the comment box to pop up. Don’t really think this is a good idea unless it has proper oversight – though it could be a good way to bring in families for weekly vacations. Think this does happen now for special events such as tennis & yachting events. Wish we could enforce the current limits of people who cram into houses especially for the summer.
06/06/2013 7625136 [No]
Devalues our homes. So no.
06/07/2013 7640569 [Yes]
Weekly rentals will bring more tourists to the area which means more revenue for the town
06/07/2013 7641274 [Yes]
We should be able to take advantage of the tourist trade. it seems that the Yachting Center reaps the tourist dollar without providing parking or anything else. why shouldn’t home owners be able to make some extra money if they choose. most party houses are not rented for just a week. homeowners should be held liable if they rent to a group of young party goers.
06/07/2013 7641272 [Yes]
I think this would encourage families to visit Newport. Right now, the people that are renting houses for the summer (Memorial Day to Labor Day) are, for the most part, party houses. Hopefully if we allow weekly rentals, Newport would attract families and less of the summer “party crowd”.
06/08/2013 7652394 [No]
See comment to question 1
06/09/2013 7656513 [Yes]
It”s done throughout Europe with benefit to all.
06/09/2013 7656815 [No]
Parking still remains a problem, especially in the Fifth Ward. Extending short-term leases would lead to more out-of-towners parking in non sticker areas, which are already being used by tourists for free over night parking
06/09/2013 7657348 [Yes]
Since I’m a timeshare investor, I can’t be a hypocrite.
06/09/2013 7657424 [No]
People should be able to do what they want with their homes, however, certain regulations would probably be needed to make it safe for both parties. All homes aren’t kept to the same standard as far as safety is concerned.
06/09/2013 7658208 [Yes]
Why not? Who can take a month off in their life, and why not let pwople make and spend money?
06/09/2013 7659142 [No]
It brings down property value
06/09/2013 7659476 [Yes]
needsmonitoring and regulation, but it is the way the culture is going
06/10/2013 7664441 [No]
I live in the Point where the houses are very close together. Summer rentals are bad enough.
06/10/2013 7664697 [Yes]
It is better to have the short term rentals approved and moderated than to have the same result with no oversight.
06/10/2013 7666770 [Yes]
Good source of $ for paying city taxes. Middletown and Jamestown don’t have such prohibition on rentals. Remove the ordinance entirely, don’t try to get a tax out of the homeowner
06/10/2013 7667528 [Yes]
As long as the city makes some money off of the rentals, and the noise ordinances are enforced.
06/10/2013 7667831 [Yes]
If they bring in more money to the community the better. Stricter noise citations as needed.
06/10/2013 7667750 [Yes]
I’m not sure how the one-month minimum became an ordinance, but I do know that if you own property you want to rent it. That’s one way to recoup costs of living in an expensive city like Newport.
06/10/2013 7668016 [Yes]
Only if they are not rented out to Salve, etc.
06/10/2013 7669094 [No]
I have lived next door to month-long renters. And the same absentee landlord has had different people in the house weekend after weekend. Guests or renters? I can’t say. But each group brought new problems. Given the city’s reputation as a party town, I wouldn’t risk subjecting residents to a new set of problems every weekend. If the city could issue strict guidelines and stick to them, perhaps. But it is hard enough to get police to respond to noise problems now.For the most part, noise and quality of life issues fall on deaf ears.


Question #3 Responses – January Survey “3 Questions, 3 Minutes”

use money that is being collected by the state on tourism in including meals & beverages as well has hotel rooms. Newport recieves very little of those taxes back from the state currently.
They SHOULD put a toll on the new bridge. However for those who think they shouldn’t have to pay, the other bridge should be left in place with free passage. No maintenance should be done on the old bridge, because the users don’t believe they should pay for anything. Eventually the old bridge will collapse. Anyone using the bridge when it collapses will be barred from suing the state, because they knowingly took the risk. They could have paid a couple of bucks and enjoyed a safe, well maintained bridge. Also, once the old bridge collapses, the anti-toll idiots will be encouraged to set up a private ferry, which, based on their foolish logic, will also somehow be free.
There has to be enough in the general fund to cover lots of other things, since bridge maintenance is easy to put off when the budget is tight. That’s what happened to the previous bridge. Sales and income taxes would have to go up to reach that goal, specially with federal funding decreasing.
Realistically, good maintenance can only happen with tolls on the Sakonnet River bridge, going into the TBA fund. That fund should continue to be used for the three Aquidneck Island bridges, with no siphoning into the general fund or any other fund.
All R. I. residents should contribute to maintaining all R.I. bridges.
Tax other bridges in Rhode Island
Although I may be biased because I am in the hospitality business, I know through personal experience that increasing tolls, and particularly putting tolls on the Sakonnet Bridge will curtail tourism, a major source of tax revenue for Newport & the state of Rhode Island, and a major source of employment for many Newporters. What will be gained in toll revenue will be more than lost in revenue from tourism, as there are many lovely tourist spots in Rhode Island & adjacent states which can be reached without any tolls. Perhaps eliminating the current R.I. bridge authority & giving responsibility for R.I. bridges to other existing administration offices would reduce state government & costs. Better maintenance on bridges would eliminate the need to construct new ones – the Brooklyn Bridge is over 100 years old & in good shape, with much more traffic than any R.I. bridge.
Take from RI General Fund; that is, monies from state’s general taxes and fees.
Toll the Jamestown, Newport, Mount Hope, and Sakonnet River bridges. The tolls should be only one way coming onto the island with no tolls leaving the island. The cost of maintenance of all these bridges should determine the leveled toll that is the same regardless of which bridge you cross. It’s pretty simple, but no one likes simple answers.

The bridges were built and now they must be maintained. The users of the bridges must pay the cost. I live on the island and it’s my responsibility, as a user of all these bridges, to maintain them.

I’m not sure there is an “other.” Bridge users pay the toll. That’s fair and reasonable, as well as the custom in other states and on other bridges. New Englanders as a group, I’ve observed, tend to balk at almost anything new. Eventually, they seem to get used to it, just like everybody else.

NB. (not for publication) My quiz response is in two parts because I hit the wrong button and closed out before completing it. Part One = 1. and 2. Part Two = 3. Sorry about that 🙁

Toll major roads coming into RI and lower the sales tax to 4%.
I think a 5 cent tax on the sale of all alcohol and alcoholic beverages would be dandy. Any negative impact on consumption could only be an added bonus.
The Newport Bridge & the Mt. Hope will still be funded through the RITBA as they are now..The Jamestown has had some major structural repairs done within the last few years because the State DOT never seems to have the money it would take to do the “less expensive” ongoing maintainence. We need to dedicate resources to maintain these larger structures before they reach the point of possible failure..That is what RITBA has always done with their very limited staff and budget..I would hope we keep them involved as part of the solution..
Rhode Island taxes are some of the highest, and we have a densely populated state. If some of the taxes we pay are not already tagged for the maintenance of crucial infrastructure, something has gone askew.
Neither!!! The bridge needs to have a toll — no free rides! Make it fair for residents within 20 miles, but SOME toll should be expected!
Construct two new parking towers and allocate that revanue to deferr the cost of maintaining these bridges.Cut down all adminastrative state ODot jobs,hire more low encome workers to do some of the more repetious duties?
simple – same way all other roads, bridges and other infrastructure are paid for –

let’s look at the details of that spending – total state and other (fed Funds..) spending on all roads and bridges… and then just Newport, Jamestown, Tiverton, Bristol bridges…

look at as a % of income from towns sales tax, payroll, income, etc vs costs of the state payment from those roads and bridges, and come up with other economic metrics..

Good question!!!
not exactly sure but I am against the two mentioned.
A realistic budget for bridge maintenance that comes out of funds that are allocated for road maintenance and is non-negotiatable, non-forfeitable. Yes, I agree RIBTA has done a lot better job maintaining the Pell brdige than the DOT did the Sakonnet bridge, so moving the bridge to that agency is a good idea. And yes, RIBTA is right not to accept responsiblity for that bridge without guaranteed funds to maintain it. But, a toll on that bridge will severely impact Aquidneck County financially. It is already a burden that non-RIers must pay $4 each time they cross the Pell bridge but if you put a toll on the Sakonnet bridge they will have no reasonable way to get on the island without paying $8 (Metacom Ave is so slow.) This ia a big deal, it means a state budget that is truly paying for road and bridge maintenance, instead of pet projects like traffic calming in Elmwood in Providence, etc etc. Don’t start any new projects until you can pay for maintaining the current infrastructure – isn’t that what we have to do in our own budgets for our own homes? I make that decision all the time – no redoing the front look of the house, instead replace the windows for heat conservation.
Place less expensive tolls on all three bridges: $2.50 each for starters.
I support a toll
Bridges should be tolled to pay for their maintenance. If there were no bridges, we would take ferries and we would not expect the ferries to be free.
Utilize existing gas tax but specifically alot percentages to bridge maintenance and/or debt repayment.
Don’t know. Believe should be toll on bridge.
Raise Car reg fees and other fees.
Get better financial management at RIDOT and State Gov.
Have checks to make sure funds are nbeing used as required for transportation.
a toll on the bridge is my favorite option, albeit, not the best.
The Pell bridge should not have to support other bridges
Set up a fund for the up keep. This could be a % of state revenue.
don’t vote against this raise
Cut the ridiculous amount of money going to entitlement programs!
Start by taking away the illegals benefits and put the money there!
Take all the other money we pay in taxes. Average american loses already 40% of their income to taxes. Stop making us so dependable on government.
Increase the car tax and earmark this tax and the gas tax for maintenance of the roads and bridges. Eliminate the Pell Bridge toll since this would be the only toll in the state. If it is not fair to toll the Sakonnet Bridge then it is not fair to toll the Pell Bridge.
Neither option
I approve of the toll on the Sakonnet bridge
place EZ Pass on the Sakonnet Bridge – c’mon – the Pell bridge is already too expensive for commuters.
Not sure, but increasing the toll on one of 3 bridges will ensure that visitors / commuters avoid the one toll bridge and overuse the other two bridges resulting in less funds for bridge maintenance and repair for all three bridges.
Users of the Pell Bridge should not finance the other bridges in the area. I object to Pell Bridge users supporting the Mt.Hope Bridge. If the Sakonnet bridge is not handed over to the Bridge authority, the state should maintain the bridge as they had the first one, with hopefully the proper attention to maintaining it this time. In other words, the bridge is tolled if handed over to the Authority, or, maintained by DOT if not.
There should be a road tax for passenger cars/pickups based on in state mileage. The % should be quite small but at least those who put “wear and tear” on roads and bridges should pay more.
Put a toll up state. Washington Bridge to name one.
The Pell Bridge toll should NOT be paying for ALL? Everyone needs to pay their fair share. I agree the newport And Jamestown bridges are significantly longer than the other So they need their own toll. But in general I think the gas tax should pay for our roads and our bridges, period.
Tax the legislature
Focus on low maintenance construction. This is Rhode Island-The Turnpike and Bridge Authority is just another agency for added expenditures. The State needs to get the qualified employees that they hire get serious and proud to do their job. What would it have taken for the State DOT to sweep the Sakonnet Bridge of the corrosive salts that they put there at the end of each winter??? The prisoners could have been assigned this task. It breaks my heart to travel the roads of Europe and see how clean and maintained everything is. Wake up America-stop ripping off everyone and lets get some pride back. It isn’t only RI- The Governor Of MA and MA DOT should have to set up their offices beneath the Braga Bridge. That area is an absolute frightening disgrace.
I forget how all of the bridges are managed. I think I read that some are funded through DOT and others are not. In any case, it would seem fair to place all the bridges in RI under the auspices of one state agency, pool all the monies, and use all the tolls and other federal funding to maintain all of the bridges, with annual maintenance checks. My worry is, all of the people protesting the toll on the Sakonnet Bridge don’t say where maintenance funds for that bridge are supposed to come from.
The idea of a toll on I-95 was shelved, but I don’t recall why. Was it a national decision?
Start a demolition fund so that the state will have the requisite monies needed when it comes time to demolish the 2012 Sakonnet River Bridge. On a serious note: the state has demonstrated an inability to properly fund the maintenance cost of its bridge and road infrastructure. It is essential that it develop a scheme that guarantees that that responsibility is met in the future. Tolling the access points at the Sakonnet, Mount Hope and Verrazano (not Pell) bridges so that all residents and visitors to Aquidneck and Conanicut islands share in the maintenance of the bridges they use and on which they rely seems to be a reasonable approach. But it has to be done in a manner that ensures that state and federal transportation funds that would normally accrue to the communities on those islands are not diverted to other places. Any tolling scheme used should give special consideration to those who use the bridges at rates greater than the average resident, e.g., businesses and residents, as well as non-resident commuters who work on the islands. It might be reasonable to required that no one pay more two tolls a day (on/off). The governance of the tolling agency should include representation from all island communities, as well as Tiverton, Bristol and North Kingston.
Put the tolls back on the Mt. Hope bridge
PUT Tolls on Sakonnett Not fair to people traveling from Ct, NJ, NY, and for people living in Newport that work in Providence. All the sale tax dollars are leaving for Mass and the Malls in Dartmouth and Fall River.
Put toll on Mount Hope Bridge
Stop wasteful spending throughout the state.
More oversight of the funds collected from the Pell Bridge, this bridge was supposed to be self–supporting decades ago.
A 50 cent charge for using both the Washington and Tiverton Bridge would help defray costs for all travelers but not be extravagant.
Raising the gas tax would mean that everyone in the state would HAVE to pay for OUR bridges whether they ever use them or not. Makes a lot of sense, no?
There is no reason not to have tolls on all bridges. To have tolls on only one is unfair. The steady rise of the tolls on the Pell bridge could have been avoided if there had been a minimal toll on all bridges. For the residents of the northern part of the island to complain is disingenuous. One again, Newport is asked to be the cash cow for the state.
Reduce the size of the state government
car tax as seperate property tax

January Survey; 3 Questions, 3 minutes, tell us what you think!

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CLICK HERE >> January 2013 ALN »



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