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.