The CDTC proposal is called a "homestead exemption," a common tax policy tool used in many states and other Rhode Island cities and towns to balance the effect non-residents have on the cost of services paid for by permanent residents.
Charlestown Democrats want the town to provide full-time residents with a tax credit of up to $1000 a year on their property taxes, beginning with the tax year that starts July 1, 2012. Their proposal was presented at the November 14 Town Council meeting by CDTC Secretary Tom Ferrio.
Ferrio noted Charlestown's full-time population of 7,827 people is taxed to support an infrastructure that serves summer visitors who triple the town's population during June, July and August. Approximately 40% of Charlestown residences are owned by non-residents and that number climbs to 80% for properties valued at one million dollars or more.
Ferrio noted that out-of-state property owners also avoid paying state income taxes that provide essential support for infrastructure and services in Charlestown.
The presentation can be viewed here and the accompanying commentary can be viewed here.