House Version of Woonsocket Supplemental Tax Bill To Be Heard Tonight

Council President John Ward says time is running out to pass tax and send out bills.


With local senators' supplemental tax bill passed May 9, the next step in the fate of the $2.5 million the Budget Commission intends to add to the tax base rests in the House tonight, a day past the deadline to send bills out in time. 

 The House Municipal Government Committee will hear the bill tonight at 5 p.m., but Budget Commissioner and Council President John Ward said the goal was to get the bill approved, then send out tax bills ahead of June 30. "Which means that the goal was to have it by yesterday. So We're already running late," Ward said. 

The process, albeit with a smaller supplemental tax, is following a course similar to last year. This time, however, the companion bill, House 6103, is sponsored directly by Rep. Lisa Baldelli-Hunt (D-Dist. 49), who ultimately opposed last year's bill. 

Woonsocket's other two Representatives, Stephen Casey (D-Dist. 50) and Bob Phillips (D-Dist. 51) have also co-sponsored the bill.

Baldelli-Hunt's version raises the levy on motor vehicles and trailers by up to 18.7 percent and the residential rate, including 11 units or more, (excluding owner-occupied single family and owner-occupied condos), by 4.8 percent for the city’s fiscal year 2012-2013 only.

Senators Marc Cote (D-Dist 24) and Roger Picard's (D-Dist. 20) version takes a slightly different tack to raise the $2.5 million, increasing the motor vehicle and trailer levy by up to 12.7 percent and increasing the residential rate, including 11 units or more, by 4.6 percent for the city’s fiscal year 2012-2013 only.

The Senate version would also allow the city to create an elderly tax exemption, fixing the amount annually. No tax sale would be held prior to June 15, 2014, for failing to pay the supplemental tax under either bill.

If the House version passes, it will have to be reconciled with the Senate bill. Ward said it will be crucial to work the senior tax exemption language into the reconciled bill. Still, Ward said, that will take still more hearings and time to work out, and, "Time is not something we have a lot of," he said.

If Baldelli-Hunt's version doesn't pass, the House will have to consider the Senate version. If that doesn't pass either, the Budget Commission would either have to cut $5 million from the city budget, or call in a receiver, Ward said.

The House version is being heard today at the State House, Room 203, at 5 p.m. 

Novan for Life May 16, 2013 at 11:02 PM
See russell what is left to take? Get the reciever in here plz and do away with Mayor DUMB and CCP DUMBER. They dont care about your wallets RUN HOMEOWNERS RUN AS FAST AS YOU CAN. Now some members of the City Council think the proposed budget of $129 mil will run a deficit due to hit or miss figures by this QUACK COMMISSION.
lorrie scullin May 17, 2013 at 12:04 AM
Jay -- who is going to want to buy any properties in Woonsocket when it is so messed up and they don't know their knees from the elbows on how to run a city?
English first May 17, 2013 at 12:22 AM
The budget commission is not a paid job..
Sly May 17, 2013 at 10:38 AM
Ward,Ward,Ward, talks a good game and has his people believing he is the man.Well he's far from a man.Once again you need to go,you should have resigned by now,what's the hold .up.Don't you see the writing on the wall YOUR NOT WANTED BY NO ONE.Go to Lincoln and stay there,either way your gone by election time.Have a nice day.
Sly May 17, 2013 at 10:42 AM
also ward do you know how many people have moved out of Woonsocket due to errors,Then again you don't care how much home owners have to pay in taxes.Your not hurting.Look the scrolls in city hall I have its not good.and many more to go.You do not belong in any office that controls cash flow.
lorrie scullin May 17, 2013 at 11:08 AM
@English First, I am sure that the Budget Commission is not here out of the goodness of their hearts and are getting paid.
Rick Turcotte May 17, 2013 at 12:04 PM
Once again. Give us your money and WE will figure it out later. Nothing with the unions is getting done. Where's the leadership in this mess. There is none.
lorrie scullin May 17, 2013 at 12:19 PM
Just remember people who will be getting their pensions from Woonsocket shortly-- Leo for being on council and mayor for 20 years, Ward for being school committee and city council for 20 years, Donlon for being a former police officer (pension), councilmen Moreau (former police officer -- pension), councilman Dubois (former school committee, councilman and former police officer -- pension)...how many more public officials with fingers in the pension jar???
Nelson Aldrich May 17, 2013 at 12:51 PM
Mafia bosses....pay up or we break your legs. City AND State "officials"....pay up or we take your house. Nothing like a busted up economy to expose the reality. Excellent comment Lorrie.
Brenda Woonsocket May 17, 2013 at 01:32 PM
were to the point of.nonretun everyones leaving woonsocket your making it impossible to own a single family send the bill to menard shes the one who pushed for this middle school for her grandkids why should we keep pouring money to this i dont even have kids there. someone needs to stop you, your all currupt
John Ward May 17, 2013 at 01:53 PM
Lorie: A little correction here, school committee members have not been allowed in the pension system since 1994, just before I got elected. I have never participated in the pension system as a city council member. Sorry to disappoint.
Nelson Aldrich May 17, 2013 at 02:06 PM
Are you in Lincoln's?
Sly May 17, 2013 at 02:54 PM
Ward at least you know something.that's a plus,
Sly May 17, 2013 at 02:56 PM
What else I have no idea.Neither does your fellow council people.
John Ward May 17, 2013 at 03:39 PM
I am in the state municipal employees' retirement system for my full time employment, first with the Johnston School Dept. and now for the Town of Lincoln. A person is not allowed to add credit for part-time service any longer. City council members not otherwise enrolled can participate if they choose.
Nelson Aldrich May 17, 2013 at 03:44 PM
No disrespect intended....pension after 20 years?
Sly May 17, 2013 at 03:45 PM
Here's Johnny.You still will double dip.
John Ward May 17, 2013 at 04:22 PM
Nelson: I am vested after ten years and could retire after a certain age with a benefit of 2% per year based on the average of my highest five years. That would be 20%. I will not hit twenty years of service until I am 67. I may keep going until I'm 70, however, the pension reform has me earning 1% per year of additional benefit as well as my defined conribution benefit created in the new law. The municipal retirement system does not provide for the 50% pension benefit after twenty years that is available to police and firefighters. And Lincoln does not include a provision for a COLA in its municipal plan, nor will I receive any health benefits in retirement from Lincoln. Those two differences are part of the Woonsocket problem. Benefits negotiated in the distant past that are not affordable and are almost impossible to remove because of binding arbitration.
English first May 17, 2013 at 04:48 PM
Brenda were- We're nonretun-no return everyones-Everyone's your-You're and many, many, many, more. At least try to use apostrophes correctly.
Let's Get Moving City !! May 18, 2013 at 01:13 AM
Ward deserves a pension for dealing with all this crap.
Let's Get Moving City !! May 18, 2013 at 01:32 AM
I give these guys credit for at least trying to get a deal done. City on the move baby. No looking back now. "Not gonna be easy. But gonna be done"
Sly May 18, 2013 at 09:52 AM
Sly May 18, 2013 at 09:54 AM
Let's Get Moving City !! May 18, 2013 at 11:46 AM
Why do people blame John Ward and the Mayor ? Isn't this whole thing about a State appropriation underfunding issue ?
Nelson Aldrich May 18, 2013 at 12:17 PM
They were there before, during and after the crash. Their answer has been more taxes, nothing else. They're great number crunchers but lack the foresight to manage a city surrounded by economic decline. No answers on debt relief. Global economy now. American corporations are investing where the growth is....Asia. Private sector hurting, government has to fall in line, all things are connected!
Let's Get Moving City !! May 18, 2013 at 01:08 PM
Property taxes are actually pretty low, for now anyway, in Woonsocket . I know people don't think they are getting much for their money but it seems as though the Public Safety part is well run. Parks are nice. Everyone I have ever dealt with in City government has been professional in every manner.No complaints at all. Putting politics aside, I think these guys have done a fine job. I think we were just lucky getting by so cheaply.
Let's Get Moving City !! May 18, 2013 at 01:10 PM
Forget the past. Let's Get Moving City !!
Let's Get Moving City !! May 18, 2013 at 01:11 PM
It is not too late.
David T May 18, 2013 at 02:26 PM
Brenda, your comment doesn't really merit a response, but seriously? There are plenty of reasons to be angry at Mayor Menard, but supporting the constructing of the two middle schools is not one of them. Except for the fact that these poor kids have to inhale the stench of the sewer system on a daily basis (worse choice for location ever) that was the best thing this city has done since the stadium theatre. And for all of the people who have the delusion that if you build a new school building it means the kids get an excellent education, well you're all wrong. We're still not East Greenwich. We still have the same incredible challenges inherent in an urban school, which we can't afford and neither could East Greenwich afford and still maintain the test scores they have now. You can't keep level funding (at 12 million a year for years) your school system and expect a miracle. And yes the state owes us funding. But the leaders of this city need to fix the city and start attracting better businesses and at least middle income residents while halting the influx of no to low income housing units.
David T May 18, 2013 at 05:47 PM
The underfunding is only part of the problem. What was the cause of the problems for the city before the state cut the funding? The solution today can't just be to get more state aide and call it a day. That does nothing to address the underlying weaknesses of the city and it is a failure of our current and past leadership to not identify those weaknesses and then to fix them.


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