Supplemental Tax Bill Clears Senate Finance Committee

Measure to be considered by full Senate Thursday.


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.

give me a break April 27, 2012 at 07:24 PM
good bye woonsocket is the only choice letf. woonsocket can go chase the bank for the money see ya and good luck to all
Tommy Tutone April 27, 2012 at 07:27 PM
Here it comes Woonsocket,and Roger Picard will support it.Suck it up and pay,until you can pay no more.They'll want more next fiscal year and more after that,you don't "own" any more and they'll gladly put you right out on the street.
Mike Kind April 27, 2012 at 09:19 PM
I'm afraid we're putting a band aid on a bullet hole. I didn't feel this way 6 months ago, but I believe receivership, and ultimately, bankruptcy is the only solution which will address the lingering problem of underfunded pension liabilities. Until these are addressed, we'll be revisitng this crisis over and over.
Meesh April 27, 2012 at 10:04 PM
I have already started looking for jobs out of state. If I can find one then I think selling my house will be next and I'm outta here!
Tommy Tutone April 27, 2012 at 10:57 PM
The bills will be timed to arrive on a Saturday so as to not cause problems at City Hall.Wouldn't want to tie up the phones too much,they'll give people a chance to sleep on it before the den of thieves opens on Monday morning.Everyone that has a job will be going to work for City Hall that morning,not for themselves.
Haavey April 28, 2012 at 03:30 AM
Run, run for the hills, get out as fast as you can! I did :D
Govstench April 28, 2012 at 11:44 AM
To the residents of Woonsocket, remember the people that were responsible for this new tax bill. Remember the reaction and the pain of knowing these people are out to fleece you. Picard is an agent for the unions who backs all of their legislation. You want to know why your tax bills are so high? Buck stops there. Do you homework and look up how the rest of the Representatives and Senators in your area have voted. All those unfunded mandates that taxpayers are forced to pay for! You have a 5-year municipal bond with over 8% interest on it. How are people going to pay that back? Where is the accountability? Take back your government by voting out incumbants - they are not doing you any favors.
Maggie April 28, 2012 at 11:51 AM
And so it begins, and within a year the city of woonsocket will be nothing more than empty houses. They were told we couldn't afford this but they insisted on forcing it down our throats. Fontaine and Ward think they know everything, well deal with the banks to find your tax money, we refuse to continue to throw good money after bad on a lost cause.
Still Hope April 28, 2012 at 11:56 AM
And then what?
give me a break April 28, 2012 at 12:49 PM
heres an idea when the bill comes in on saturday mail them back on monday "return to sender :
Tommy Tutone April 28, 2012 at 02:13 PM
There once was a man from Woonsocket Who paid his taxes out of pocket He stuck his hand in a live socket 'cause his vagrancy charge is on the docket
Still Hope April 28, 2012 at 03:27 PM
You might be confusing "The Bill" with the bills.
Lynne Beaudry April 28, 2012 at 04:55 PM
This has only been approved by the STATE finance committee- it still needs to heard on both the House & Senate floors for them to vote on then it must be approved by the Governor. It is just prolonging our frustration as to when we will have to come up with more of our hard earned dollars! The STATE OF RI has burdened our city for too long but has NEVER been willing to help our community to overcome it's difficulties.
Roger Harris April 28, 2012 at 05:04 PM
This tax increase results from prior years of no increase in local taxes. Today, most property owners cannot afford a 13.5% increase. When they don't pay it, and many won't, will the Mayorand the city take the property???
Lisa B April 29, 2012 at 12:45 PM
Best of luck selling your house if it's located in Woonsocket. Did you get your new property valuation? How many people do you think want to buy real estate here? No money to keep the schools open and the city government running, all the while property owners are left to bail out the city's financial woes. According to my new valuation, the value of my house has decreased 44% from the purchase price... And my taxes have increased by 51%, not including the new supplemental tax, which will add an additional $562 to my bill, if it is passed. The supplemental tax will put a band-aid on a gaping wound, but what about going forward? What kind of tax hike can we look forward to in July to take care of our future problems? I see no way out of this mess unless drastic measures are taken by the city - not its' residents.
Maggie April 30, 2012 at 12:32 AM
Roger, the tax increase doe not result from prior years of no increase in local taxes, as to the folliy that Woonsocket did not raise taxes for years, please note the tax rates for the past 12 years (TAKEN FROM STATE SITE) which shows the same pattern of lowered taxes in all surrounding cities and towns many with little change for several years running and all around the time that property values increase considerably. Woonsocket was no different than the others. This can be seen throughout the state, but I only listed the surrounding towns. Year Woonsocket Lincoln N.Smithfield Cumberland Pawtucket 2000 29% 24.55% 22.29% 20.33% 23.43% 2001 29% 23.98% 19.88% 20.92% 23.80% 2002 29% 23.98% 19.88% 15.41% 24.42% 2003 23.30% 26.84% 20.57% 15.95% 16.59% 2004 23.85% 18.64% 14.26% 16.73% 17.25% 2005 23.85% 19.18% 14.83% 10.75% 17.91% 2006 12.40% 19.49% 15.03% 11.07% 11.25% 2007 12.40% 19.49% 15.03% 11.07% 11.25% 2008 12.88% 16.72% 12.16% 11.53% 11.86% 2009 13.23% 16.88% 13.24% 12.38% 12.39% 2010 22.36% 17.54% 13.73% 12.81% 17.78% 2011 23.63% 21.65% 15.32% 13.15% 17.78% 2012 25.10% 21.65% 15.32% 15.34% 17.78%
Tommy Tutone April 30, 2012 at 01:03 AM
It would take at least that long for any city to move on a tax lien,i fail to see how the language changes anything.It does sound like they're gearing up for a fight though.
suzan laliberte April 30, 2012 at 02:11 AM
people are having trouble now what do you think more taxes are going to do to people landlords are going to raise rents if it goes through people will be living on the street or moving out of ri am on ssdi i get 800.00 a mont i have a car i cant afford more car taxes i am very sick howwill i get to doctors if i dont have a car and i wont if their are more taxes
ROB May 02, 2012 at 11:36 PM
I say we all need not pay the bill and let the city take our houses. What are they going to do with an empty city with no people and empty houses. Let's see thek get out of that one. We allowed this to let them walk all over us now its time to stand together and DON'T PAY TAX BILL
Ben Dover December 03, 2012 at 08:55 PM
There once was a man from Woonsocket who'd feel you up through your pocket As he jacked off your junk Out came the spunk And he said "til you've tried, don't knock it!"
Memere December 04, 2012 at 01:40 AM
The tax payers of Woonsocket CANNOT AFFORD THIS!!!!!! Unfortunately those at City Hall do not care that we are going to the poor house. They continue to to spend money like crazy (example the over-priced land on Jillson for a new water treatment plant when we already own land thatcould be used for a water treatment plant and now the Glenark mess) Mayor Fontaine just doesn't seem to understand that we cannot continue spending when we are on the brink of receivership. I wish that we could recall the mayor all City Council members - we definitely need a change!!!!!! And those at City Hall that receive lifetime HealthBenefits when they retire, That has got to stop. It is a wonderful benefit and I wish that Woonsocketcould afford to continue this benefit but we simply cannot. I notice that although Mayor Fontaine continues to blame the Unions for our financial problems, he does not mention this little benefit.


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