Kind: Anti-Renter Sentiment Troubling, Unproductive

Renters are productive citizens, too.


To The Editor:

I am concerned about the anti-renter sentiment expressed by many recently. The financial crisis facing Woonsocket is grave, indeed, and I certainly understand and appreciate the taxpayers’ frustration with the supplemental tax increase and the ongoing financial challenges which even this increase will not address.

That having been said, we have been hearing a lot about 10,000 taxpayers carrying 40,000 non-taxpayers, a “head tax” for the privilege of living in Woonsocket, and even a charge for having children in the public schools. While I join those who abhor the welfare abusers, disability frauds, illegals, and worse who are among renters, I feel it’s important to take a step back and examine these arguments more carefully, and with a cooler head. Most of the renters are productive citizens, who work and pay income tax, sales tax, and support local business. They pay their landlord’s property tax indirectly when they write their rent checks.

If not for these renters, how would landlords pay their tax? Although there may be 10,000 taxpayers, some of those own 3,4,6, or even 8 unit buildings which are populated, at least in part, by those productive people noted above. It is a mathematical fallacy to say that 10,000 are paying for 40,000.

A “head tax”, charged to all who live in a city, and charges for public education, are illegal. This is because, as much as it is true that we have to fund the WED deficit in full, we still pay only a small portion of the total WED expense. Please see my previous writings for my thoughts on the WED and its’ management.

If you want to insure that those productive renters leave this city in
droves, attempt to enact any of the policies listed above. The landlords of the
city will have a vacuum to fill, and guess who will fill them.

It’s time to come together, all of us who pay taxes and love this City. It’s
not a time to create divisiveness and resentment toward undeserving people.

Mike Kind

Maggie May 15, 2012 at 12:55 AM
Drive down Woonsocket streets, many quality renters have already left and any property owner who raises their rents to offset the new taxes will have only empty rentals. Bottom line, we can't afford to education the kids of non-productive renters and this city is swarming with them.
Still Hope May 15, 2012 at 05:12 PM
Another well written note, Mike. However, your words will only fall on deaf ears (and eyes). It is within our culture to blame that which we cannot control instead of acting on our own. Everyone benefits disproportionately from publicly funded services. Welfare, et al, just happens to be the poster child of today. I don't complain about the miles of road I don't use, the years of social security I won't receive, the services of the police and fire I won't need. Most people choose to focus their prejudice on the categories that they don't participate. So when they see an Escalade roll up to Price Rite, they immediately conclude that everyone is milking the system but them. I don't know about everyone else on here but I take every tax deduction I'm entitled to and not a penny less. Good luck convincing a mother of three to not use EBT, and good luck convincing me to give up my Homestead exemption. One point on the proposed tax legislature: we did lower the tax on the wealthy/businesses a few years back yet we still had a state surplus for 2011. Raising the tax rate back again will only add to the surplus unless the state learns how to spend it first. Revenue is not the problem, appropriation is.
EMB May 16, 2012 at 02:41 PM
I agree, nicely said.
Cathy May 21, 2012 at 04:18 PM
Thanks Mike.
Novan for Life June 17, 2012 at 07:40 PM
La mouffette i know who your targeting and i apologized for it let it go. Thank you mike for takeing this step back


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