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Final Hope For Supplemental Tax Rests With General Assembly Tonight

State director of revenue working with Woonsocket Delegation to win their support.

 

The final hope for supporters of the Woonsocket supplemental tax authorization bill rests in the hands of the General Assembly tonight, during the last hours of the 2012 session.

If it's not passed before the session ends sometime late this coming morning, said Larry Berman, communications director for Speaker Gordon Fox, there'll be no supplemental tax. Earlier this evening, RIFuture.org reported that though the Woonsocket Delegation has still not agreed to back the bill, Fox said he wasn't sure whether the House would vote on the measure without their support.

"Speaker Fox would prefer to have the support of the Woonsocket Delegation," Berman said this evening. Earlier, Berman had said the bill would not be heard without their support.

On June 6, the Woonsocket Budget Commission, formed days after the supplemental tax bill was tabled by the House, voted to ask the General Assembly to reconsider the bill. Members said they hoped the panel's study of the situation and their support would lend strength to the argument to bring the bill back.

Director of Revenue Rosemary Booth Gallogly was continuing talks with members of the Woonsocket Delegation this evening, said Christine Hunsinger, communications director for Gov. Lincoln Chafee. She said the revenue director hoped to win their support for the supplemental tax. "They're still talking," she said.

Rep. Lisa Baldelli Hunt (Democrat - District 49, Woonsocket) led local legislators' opposition to the bill in a passionate speech before the House May 24.

Hunsinger said the governor's position on the supplemental tax, that it was an unfortunate necessity, was unchanged.

Memere June 13, 2012 at 10:56 PM
Mr. Dionne, I completely agree. Mr. Ward and Mr. Fontaine should not be on this budget commission although, I do understand that this is the law. But laws can be changed. A thorough investigation into city finances and into the current administration's ties to this needs to be made immediately!
Memere June 13, 2012 at 11:00 PM
But that's not saying much considering who we have in politics right now, is it? I do not agree with her latest blunder. I am deeply disappointed in her. Only time will tell whether she erred or was right on the money.
Mike June 14, 2012 at 12:13 AM
Thank you for your service, Mr. Ward. Sad to see that Ms. Hunt was more than willing to support the supplemental as long as her relative got a good deal; guess corrupt RI politics are still the norm at the statehouse. Please ignore the negative comments and keep doing the best you can for the city.
Joe June 14, 2012 at 01:24 AM
Mr. Ward, "Where has Rep. Baldelli-Hunt, Jon Brien, and Robert Phillips brought us?" I guess the same question could be asked of you and Mayor Fontaine. After all, you are the two that created and approved the current year's Budget that you now, after the election, say was an unrealistic Budget. And as the other posters have already said, what exactly have you and the Council proposed regarding cost cuts. All we here about from you and Mayor Fontaine is a rant about State Aid and the need for ever higher taxes. We have yet to hear one single specific recommendation for cost cuts. The key word in your post is "discussed". That sums it up well. All you people do is discuss and talk about things, but you never take action, you have no follow-through, you don't draw a line in the sand and make specific proposals. Instead, you just talk and talk and talk and discuss and discuss ....with no action. It is a cliche, but the old saying "actions speak louder than words" is appropriate in this instance. Yes, we know we are all going to get a tax increase, but we want action in other areas too. Unfortunately, you and Mayor Fontaine don't have the stomach to do what needs to be done. Not to worry, a receiver will do the job for you ...and that is where your inaction has brought us. I wonder how that will look in your mayoral campaign literature? Sorry if you consider the truth hateful.
la_mouffette June 14, 2012 at 03:36 AM
I don't necessarily think a receiver, if we get one, is going to be a cause for celebration....this is going to be a rough ride, all around, no matter what happens. But I DO wish the city and state had met Baldelli-Hunt in the middle and agreed to her requests in exchange for passing the supplemental (that it would not automatically become part of the annual tax rate, that our Mayor would not be part of the commission, that there would be an external audit and investigation into our finances over the past few years, so we could really get down to brass tacks with accurate information...) Imagine, if Council President Ward and Mayor Fontaine had publicly petitioned the Governor to remove them from the Budget Commission in exchange for the supplemental? If it's the only thing that can save the city, what heroes they'd could have been.

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