The RI Senate Committee on Finance has approved the bill authorizing Woonsocket to implement a supplemental tax, which could raise as much as $6.6 million for the financially strapped city.
With the General Assebly's approval, the city will seek an extra $3.15 for every $1,000 of assessed residential property value. For the owner of a home worth $150,000, that would mean a $472.50 bill.
The supplemental tax would also tack on $4.51 for commercial property, and $5.81 for motor vehicles.
Without the bill, Woonsocket will run out of money by the end of May, reports Director of Finance Thomas Bruce.
The bill, S2872, will be heard by the full senate on Thursday, said Woonsocket City Council President John Ward. He said that though the bill is tentatively scheduled to be heard on May 2, Sen. Roger A. Picard (D-Woonsocket, Cumberland) has asked that it be considered a day later so he can attend a rally to support keeping the World War I memorial in front of Woonsocket Fire Headquarters intact.
The bill was introduced April 12 by Senators Daniel DaPonte (D-East Providence, Pawtucket), and Dominick J. Ruggerio (D-Providence, North Providence). It was approved Thursday 5-1 by the committee with three absent members.
"It's a good sign. I would really be hopeful that the full senate will approve it next week," Ward said. He said that though the Woonsocket delegation's initial lukewarm reaction to the supplemental tax bill is a concern, as they learn more about the city's options, they'll support the bill.
"I'm fairly confident that it will eventually be passed by both the Senate and the House," Ward said.