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City Council to consider supplemental tax bill

March 17, 2012

WOONSOCKET — The City Council has posted notice of a special meeting on Wednesday during which the panel will consider legislation empowering the city to pass a supplemental tax bill to help plug a $10 million hole in the School Department's budget.
There's only one other item on the agenda: a proposed resolution authorizing the city to obtain tax anticipation notes - a type of short-term loan. The authorization to levy supplemental taxes works as a kind of collateral for the cash-strapped city, allowing it to borrow funds for a brief period on the expectation of a payoff from the collection of supplemental revenues from what some call a "fifth quarter" tax bill.
Borrowing is a last-ditch effort to keep cash flowing through city coffers. Without an infusion of capital, Finance Director Thomas M. Bruce III says, the School Department is on track to run out of money by April 6, and probably won't be able to make further payrolls after that date.
The city wants to raise up to $6.6 million with the supplemental bill, according to papers release late Friday afternoon. Of that, $4.3 would be handed over to the School Department, which is also considering a smorgasbord of program cuts, personnel reductions and contractual rollbacks to bridge the budget gap.
The schedule of rates for the supplemental tax bill is proposed accordingly: $3.15 per thousand dollars for residential property; $4.51 for commercial property; and $5.81 for motor vehicles, trailers and business equipment.
Bills will be due by June 15 and the city will have the power to assess delinquency penalties at the rate of 15 percent annually.
Notice of the meeting was posted just hours after Moody’s Investor Service placed the city on a negative watch for another possible downgrade from the city's exist Ba2 rating, already a junk-level rank. It was the second bit of bad news for the city in as many weeks following the revelation of the $10 million budget hole, coming on the heels of Fitch's lowering of the city's credit rating to BB- from BBB- last week. That's a four-notch dip deeper into junk territory on the Fitch scale.
The special meeting is scheduled for 7 p.m. in Harris Hall. It’s one of two council meetings scheduled for next week, along with a regularly scheduled session two days earlier, on Monday. A number of items are are the agenda of the latter, but none is expected to be as controversial as supplemental taxes.


well that definitely was bad

March 28, 2012 by Solomon80 (not verified), 3 years 14 weeks ago
Comment: 1059

well that definitely was bad news for the city
the raising is not something easy to do

how to edit a picture

Woonsocket 1885? - 2012 R.I.P.

March 24, 2012 by Jeffo46 (not verified), 3 years 14 weeks ago
Comment: 1031

There is no way in hell that us city residents can afford to pay another tax . You ,Leo Fontaine and your cohorts on the City Council might as well get the Gestapo outfits out and declare Woonsocket under Martial law considering all the stupidity your administration has done to this city. What's going to be next , labor camps at Social Park for those who won't pay your proposed tax ? Please !


March 22, 2012 by BeatupTaxpayer (not verified), 3 years 15 weeks ago
Comment: 1013

I took a chance in 2005 and bought 2 6 family homes on the same lot. When I bought them the tax was roughly 6600.00. 6 months later the new tx bills came out and it was 15,900.00. I started laughing and said ya right....Well to my surprise Mayor Menard change the type of property it was and this was my new tax bill...This was when she was bragging about not raising taxes. She didn't have to. she changed your bracket and that was the increase. Well it has gone up every year since. I'm at 19,653.00 now..I promised myself if and when it goes over 20,000.00 I'm walking away. Well you win woonsocket..I lost my retirement..You sqezzed me out...I'm sick to my stomach..all the money I invested to find out that there are very few renters who even care and ruin apartments every time they move..This city is already in the toilet..Even if I survive this I will get crushed with the new waste water plant they want to build..It's just 1 big flush now...

Only in Woonsocket.

March 21, 2012 by sinking fast (not verified), 3 years 15 weeks ago
Comment: 1008

At City Hall the the year is 15 months long.Pretty soon it'll be 18,then get the picture.You gotta pay dearly for the priviledge of being a "rocket".

Don't pay.


March 20, 2012 by BeatupTaxpayer (not verified), 3 years 15 weeks ago
Comment: 998

How can Chris Roberts stand there and say he's all for the extra tax bill ??? I can tell you why.....He personally does not own a home in Woonsocket !! His daddy owns a business on East School st. I bet if he owned a home or 2 in this city he would not vote for it.

Another tax bill for the residents of Woonsocket?

March 20, 2012 by GerryC (not verified), 3 years 15 weeks ago
Comment: 995

The taxpayers in the city cannot endure another extra supplemental tax.
Just look at all the for-sale signs throughout what was once a great city to live in.
People and businesses are leaving the city. So, what will be left?
Give them a break.
The former mayor prided herself for not raising taxes and I wonder where she is living now? Florida maybe? She certainly can't still be residing in Woonsocket.
Time for the city to cut school expenses, plus others. Nice new school building, but at what cost?
The city, as in many other cities and towns, are on the brink of being insolvent.
Chafee, our tax and more tax Governor, does have one agenda (finally) that should hopefully help, but it should apply to all cities and towns, and not only to those "distressed" communities.


March 20, 2012 by armoza1988 (not verified), 3 years 15 weeks ago
Comment: 992

I can't believe that you raising our taxes once again! Do you realize that if my checking account was overdrawn that would be my problem and not the City's. I would be responsible for getting out of the situation I'm in, it was my fault that I didn't handle my funds appropriately. The City has auditors. How could they not see the nunmbers right in front of them. How can you misplace $10M. Heads should be rolling. Maybe the school department shouldn't pay their employees, and spend money they don't have. Why are we as homeowners being punished for the City's misappropriation of funds. Enough is enough! What happens when no one resides in Woonsocket any longer who are you going to seek these funds from. File bankruptcy and end it once and for all! Start over!!!!!!


March 20, 2012 by ronaldbernier (not verified), 3 years 15 weeks ago
Comment: 991

It is time for the citizens of Woonsocket to stand up and say enough is enough. First, we should be looking at class action lawsuits against Girardi, Busby and any other school department/school committee member responsible for this mess. Next we need to band together and refuse to pay any supplemental taxes. Let the city declare bankruptcy, not bankrupt the citizens. Many of us in this city live on fixed incomes. Now, we are facing losing everything we worked hard for all of our lives, or decide to give up putting food on our tables and paying for our medications. We need to band together and let Fontaine and his team of Stooges try to foreclose on every piece of property in the city.

Time for lawsuits

March 20, 2012 by ronaldbernier (not verified), 3 years 15 weeks ago
Comment: 990

It's time for the citizens to launch a revolution. First, class action suits need to be brought against Girardi, Busby and any other school department official responsible for this situation. Next, every citizen of Woonsocket needs to refuse to pay the supplemental tax. Let Fontaine and his team of Stooge's try to foreclose on every piece of property in the city. It is time for the citizen' of this hell whole to stop being steeple and start standing up for our rights. We are forced to live within our means. It's time that we start forcing the elected officials to do the same. It is criminal that someone living on a fixed income has to lose everything they have worked all of their life for because they have to choose between paying ridiculous supplemental taxes and tax increases or putting food on the table and paying for their medications. Way to destroy people's retirrement dreams Fontaine.


March 22, 2012 by BeatupTaxpayer (not verified), 3 years 15 weeks ago
Comment: 1014

I will put my money toward a lawsuit before I pay this tax...I want to fight...If I pay I want someone else to pay..Like some nice prison terms...

Tax increase

March 20, 2012 by Chuck O (not verified), 3 years 15 weeks ago
Comment: 989

The proposed tax increase is perhaps the only way to balance the budget, but it will be at a great cost. Our property, has already been devalued by at least a third due to market conditions, yet we are taxed at a higher city evaluation rate than we can possibly sell our homes for at this time. This 5th quarter proposal will drive people and business out of Woonsocket, but the property sale values will drop further because everyone will be selling to get out. This sets a bad precedent, in that will every year have a 5th quarer now?
Where is the accountability of the school committee to the citizens of this city? We cannot be treated as a bottomless ATM by both the city and the state much longer. unfunded mandates must be eliminated,
and some kind of fiscal restraints must be imposed upon the school committee.

MORE taxes...aren't we bleeding enough?

March 19, 2012 by grobin (not verified), 3 years 15 weeks ago
Comment: 987

Because someone can't do a budget for the school system....WE, the taxpayers are expected to bail them out? Passing this added debt to us will only drive more people away from the city.
How many residents have verified the accuracy of the current property values? I know my house is valued at $60k LESS than what I'm assessed. Which I can't do anything about until July. Now, someone has this great idea to pass MORE onto me? Where am I supposed to get this money?
I budget my funds so my bills get paid. If I didn't, I would lose and have to declare bankruptcy....
WHY aren't those involved in this disaster removed from their jobs? WHY are threats passed onto us taxpayers? (Threats = 15% penalties for not paying) WHERE am I supposed to come up with, what I estimate to be approx. $1400 for property taxes by June 15? MY budget doesn't include having to take care of other individuals errors.....

Just What We Need, Another Tax Bill !

March 18, 2012 by Jeffo46 (not verified), 3 years 15 weeks ago
Comment: 986

Instead of taxing us some more because all of you in the School department and City hall screwed up, why not just swallow your damm pride and either let the state take over and put the city in recievership, or just declare bankruptcy ? This way, the city can get off to a new start without the current batch of idiots known as Leo Fontaine and the City Council, get involved and mees things up once again. If it wasn't for them, Wal-Mart never would've left the city, thus costing us jobs . IMO, I feel that a full investigation into why all of this happened in the 1st place, should be under way by the federal government. If that were to take place, you can bet some heads in Woonsocket would be on the chopping block for sure.


March 20, 2012 by armoza1988 (not verified), 3 years 15 weeks ago
Comment: 993

I can't believe another tax bill plus an increase in what we have already! What do you want from us. We have to manage our own funds and no one bails us out when we overdraw on our checking accounts. We have to manage and cut costs elsewhere. So why is this our problem? You can't manage money you continously purchase, pay and allocate money we don't have to various projects and salaries. Why don't you just make one School Department and you will save all the money you require immediately. Do you really need all those department heads making those outrageous salaries! What will you do when you have no home owners left in the City. Whose going to provide the funds you need then. Don't you realize you can't bleed us any more than what we can afford. ENOUGH IS ENOUGH!

Time to leave Woonsocket

March 18, 2012 by Maggie (not verified), 3 years 15 weeks ago
Comment: 985

I don't know what they are thinking, or if they are thinking at all, but they are going too far. Time to leave Woonsocket

Leave Woonsocket?

March 20, 2012 by GerryC (not verified), 3 years 15 weeks ago
Comment: 996

Left back in 1974.
Thank God.

Bankruptcy may be the best solution for all involved...

March 18, 2012 by Marcel (not verified), 3 years 15 weeks ago
Comment: 984

Many an individual and couple have renewed their lives by going bankrupt... Rebuilding starts from the very first day.

Nothing says the proposed supplemental tax bill would have curing effects as it's being used to pay old over-expenditures not the new stuff around the corner.
Well, at least it's not a tax rate increase but merely that new "Hope-nosis" math. You are getting

Wow !

March 18, 2012 by Marcel (not verified), 3 years 15 weeks ago
Comment: 983

This is not good news for most who own homes or rental property in Woonsocket. It's as bad for those companies who are in the same boat... A supplemental tax bill I believe will cripple home budgets.
That baby's going to latch on the anything the City collects taxes on..
If you can afford it, you're blessed. If you can't, you're screwed.....
Let me ask you something, "What's not in your wallet?".

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