Budget Commission Pursuing Supplemental Tax

Time running out for second shot at getting authorizing legislation approved.


John McLaughlin paced outside City Hall before Tuesday's Budget Commission meeting with a sign, "No TAX in FY12" — but panel members weren't ready to abandon the supplemental tax as a deficit fix.

"I don't see how we're going to come up with a solution unless there's some type of supplemental tax," said Comission member Peder Schaefer. No other members offered alternative solutions.

At Friday's meeting, though, Commission Chair Bill Sequino, Council President John Ward and Director of Revenue Rosemary Booth Gallogly all said the alternative was making significant cuts to the city's budget.

With time running short on the General Assembly's session this year, Commission Chair Bill Sequino said the panel should vote on whether to ask the legislature to reconsider the bill during Tuesday's meeting.

David Eaton, fiscal advisor for East Providence's Budget Commission, also assisting the Woonsocket Budget Commission, drew up a resolution to ask the General Assembly to reconsider the bill. He also drafted a resolution asking the department of revenue to evaluate whether the City can exceed the 4.25 percent cap on property tax for FY 2012, so a supplemental tax could be approved "by the required authority (ies)" without violating the law.

Both resolutions passed (see attached .pdf).

According to the first resolution, the deficit can't be fixed with cuts alone without violating basic education funding and public safety standards.

The city faces a $10 million school budget deficit for this year and next year combined. This year's school budget deficit, said Thomas Bruce, city finance director, is $7.5 million.

Even with their supplemental tax request, members acknowledged bringing back the supplemental tax bill would be difficult. Commission member Mayor Leo Fontaine said he had not made any progress convincing members of the Woonsocket delegation to back the request. On Friday, Gallogly said she had not made progress winning over the delegation, either. The measure is unlikely to get another hearing without that support.

The meeting ended with a vote to go into executive session, to discuss the wastewater project. As spectators were leaving the third floor conference room, Brien took the podium, which still had a live microphone, to inform the Commission he had filed an objection against the vote for executive session, he said, because there was no disposition of public property and no investment of public funds involved.

The next meeting of the Woonsocket Budget Commission will be Monday, 8 a.m., at City Hall, third floor.

Tommy Tutone June 06, 2012 at 11:00 AM
No cuts in pay at the top (Fontaine).Crony Budget Commission fails to lead by example.Still not hearing anything of substance on cuts at WED.Just more taxes in a city on the verge of depression (not too strong a word).This thing is going to get real ugly,McLaughlin's got guts,he's willing to do the dirty work for maxed out taxpayers.
michael russell June 06, 2012 at 11:26 AM
Hey Woonsocket politicans bite the bullet you guys made the mess now live with it and leave us taxpayers alone for once.
RonW June 06, 2012 at 11:53 AM
The last person to leave Woonsocket, please turn off the lights.
Doctor June 06, 2012 at 12:14 PM
This budget problem started in 2009, the year Mayor Fontaine was elected. Prior to that, we always had a positive budget. Need I say more or is it just coincidence.
lorrie scullin June 06, 2012 at 12:33 PM
The city rallied for the Cross on Cumberland Hill Road -- now its time for rallies against higher taxation!!!
lorrie scullin June 06, 2012 at 12:36 PM
This is another reason why a budget commission should not include members of the reigning city/town administrations, or for that matter, anyone associated with members of the city/town administrations. Need someone who does not know anything about Woonsocket to come in with fresh eyes, ears and fresh ideas, not recycled tax, tax, tax!!! We are already taxed to the max -- where do they think we are going to come up with all of this money and why aren't administration paycuts in the mix???
Doctor June 06, 2012 at 01:19 PM
Here is an idea for the commission. Offer an amnesty period to allow all delinquent taxpayers an attempt to catch up on their payments without any penalty and allow them the right to register their motor vehicles if they attempt to make payments. A few collected bucks can make a difference.
Gonetothe dogs June 06, 2012 at 01:41 PM
I don't understand where they came up with the 13% increase for the supplemental tax! How about they lower the tax to maybe 7 % and come up with the rest in cuts? No matter how much people fight it there will be a tax increase, but let's be reasonable.
Frankie June 06, 2012 at 02:03 PM
But it wasn't really a positive budget. Suzie-Q stole from Peter to pay Paul all the time. She often "borrowed" money from the police pension fund to show a balanced budget. She took money from the state that was earmarked for the schools, and when she got caught, she had to "pay it back".
Sly June 06, 2012 at 02:46 PM
Out with Funny(Fontaine)Wish someone would mess his hair up,out with Deputy (Dog) oh sorry Burton Ward.Resign,Resign, Resign,Do it for humanity.We will survive without you.Every word out of Burton Ward mouth is Tax.Tax Tax.Cool when your making his money.Batman & Robin.
Ray June 06, 2012 at 04:42 PM
I love it. A retired teacher getting a nice pension and free heathcare complaining about taxes.
give me a break June 07, 2012 at 08:55 AM
just like having donald,daisy,huey,duey,louie duck on that committee lmao,
arbi June 07, 2012 at 09:55 AM
Executive session? So much for the promise of transparency. Let's re-elect all of them!!!
Sly June 07, 2012 at 10:42 AM
Out with Fontaine and Ward (aka) Batman and Robin.Holy empty city Batman.Resign,Resign,Resign.The whole city does not want you.Gotham City Does.
Sly June 07, 2012 at 10:47 AM
BDC = Bad Direction Coming.
Tommy Tutone June 07, 2012 at 10:53 AM
I like it,but the batphone link to Lisa's house has been disconnected.I vote for Dina Dutremble as Catwoman!Jon Brien should play the Riddler since he's such an enigma.


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