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Dozens Protest Providence Car Taxes

Friday, September 16, 2011


Dozens of angry Providence residents rallied at City Hall Thursday, voicing their displeasure with the city’s decision to lower its car tax exemption from $1,000 earlier this summer.

The capital city originally did not include changes to the car tax in Mayor Taveras’ proposed 2012 budget, instead choosing to raise property taxes by roughly 13 percent. At the time, Taveras said he was concerned lowering the car tax exemption didn’t guarantee the city could raise enough money. But he later voiced support for the City Council’s proposed budget, which did in fact alter the car tax, but lowered the property tax hike.

The city ultimately chose to broaden the tax base by lowering the car taxes but also reducing the exemption.

Organizer Blames Mayor

But Anthony Sionni, who has been a critic of Taveras ever since in the Mayor took office, said he organized the rally because he feels the city is attempting to balance its budget on the backs of low income Providence residents. He noted that the city estimated his 2001 Ford Taurus’ value at over $3,500. The trade in value: About $550.

“I am hoping that the Council will have a public hearing,” Sionni said. “This has caught a lot of people by surprise. We have to get the valuations changed at the state level. I don't expect the Council to amend the tax levy. I would hope they would consider raising the exemption in next year’s budget. There are a lot of people on fixed incomes like the elderly that this tax increase has made it harder for them to get by in this economy, with already hire fuel and food costs for them.”

Sionni said he doesn’t believe the city should be offering pay raises to a select few city employees and then changing the car taxes. He said there are other areas in the budget where savings could have been found.

City Residents “Disrespected”

Hamlet Miguel Lopez agrees with Sionni. The former City Council candidate said he wishes more residents in the city were given time to understand what the changes to the law meant.

“A lot of people are upset right now,” he said. “People are choosing between a plate of food or paying their rent and now they’re having to pay more in car taxes.”

Lopez said he understands leadership within the city is trying to do its best, but he believes residents have been disrespected.

“I think the people were disrespected in the city of Providence,” Lopez said. “I think they were shut out. The least they could have done was hold a couple of public meetings. I think it was a quick fix to our problems and there are no jobs in the city of Providence.”

Solomon Defends Taxes

But City Council President Michael Solomon has supported the changes to the car tax from the beginning, noting that the Council had to make a choice between the car tax and putting a severe burden on property owners in the city.

“The Council looked at the tax levy comprehensively, refusing to ask any class of tax payer to bear the entire burden of the increase,” Solomon said last month. "In doing so, we moved away from the original proposal of a 13% increase in property taxes and towards a more balanced proposal which resulted in a property tax increase under 5% and the lowering of the motor vehicle tax rate by more than 20%. We also expanded the tax to an additional 55,000 vehicles which were not being taxed by lowering the exemption to $1,500.”

In the end, Solomon said everything is about shared sacrifice.

“The theme of this year's budget was shared sacrifice and we felt to balance the budget wholly on the backs of homeowners was neither fair nor sound tax policy,” Solomon said. “We did not take raising taxes lightly and continue to review the City's revenue structure through our Revenue Commission which will have recommendations in the near future.”


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Solomon is COMPLETELY out of touch with constituents! Any idiot knows that HOMEOWNERS are also CAR OWNERS, so he and the entire council are still trying to balance a budget on our backs. Mr. Solomon, thou art either a stooge in a stuffed suit or a liar or both.

FYI - Council moved all agenda to sub- committee last night and adjourned in 15 minutes with NO acknowledgement of a chamber packed with constituents. Cowards! For shame! I thought this was America?!

Comment #1 by Carol DeFeciani on 2011 09 16

Ms CDF...you need to become familiar w/the rules of the City Govt & in particular the City Council..also there are many car owners who rent so your correlation fails miserably...you also should know at your age that bullying 7 name calling are juvenile, disrespectful, and above all self embarrassing...your statements are angry, angry & angry..they lack substance, they lack a cooperative spirit to solveproblems..hide behind your sign..you need to

Comment #2 by Buc Kner on 2011 09 16

Sorry I don't buy opur drivel Buc Kner - They HIGHTAILED it out of there and didn't even have the common decency to speak ouutside the chamber with individuals who put them in office and pay theor salaries and benefits. Is this your idea of democracy at work? ( they had to rush off to dinner at Prime 20 Steak & Sushi). You - it seems - are part of the problem! Keep being an online "soldier" from your computer keyboard instead of getting yourself up off the couch and doing something constructive about the issues - just like a 7 year old... disgusting.

Comment #3 by Carol DeFeciani on 2011 09 16

and you're damn right I'm angry -- I'll give you that much...

Comment #4 by Carol DeFeciani on 2011 09 16

try using your real nane when you post. Or are you afraid?

Comment #5 by Carol DeFeciani on 2011 09 16

CDF..actually they were headed to the Hot Club...I am not hiding behind anything BUT FROM PEOPLE LIKE YOU...afraid..absolutely that loonies like you, diNuccio & other TP'ers are out for anarchy...I cant believe someone w/your intelligence fails to realize that the very system that you want to work for you,, must be adhered to OR its every person on their own??..if that's what you want, then good for you but not me ..as for the couch, actually its a leather office chair & as for your 'soldier" remark..damn straight..4 years for this country to secure your right to carry that stupid sign..If I evaluated my military service by your actions..it would have been a waste but i refuse to..your a pimple on the very a*s they call the process of govt

Comment #6 by Buc Kner on 2011 09 16

hey Buc - I'm no Tea Partier. FAIL! keep guessing....

Comment #7 by Carol DeFeciani on 2011 09 16

and BTW - your further juvenile drivel just proved my point...

Comment #8 by Carol DeFeciani on 2011 09 16

The People who benefit from the taxes increases, Use words the TP'er, disgusting,Haters,Loonies, Soldier. Because the people that are paying these high taxes ( The Work Poor)Seniors, can not pay anymore. They are not rich fat cat, but poor working folks and don't get the same benefit that the people who work for these Cities and Town get and there are tried of paying for them.. Keep up the good work Carol.

Comment #9 by John Kennedy on 2011 09 16

CDF..juvenile.Im 61.by the looks of things I must have at least 3-4 yrs on you

Comment #10 by Buc Kner on 2011 09 16

oh so your a 12 year old boy? sure sounds like it...

Comment #11 by Carol DeFeciani on 2011 09 16

Death to providence vote democrat in 2012 !

Comment #12 by John Waddington on 2011 09 16

carol , buc would be happy to stop in at DD near laSalle to have this debate in person lol

Comment #13 by anthony sionni on 2011 09 16

.Does the council think a 13 percent increase in property taxes would of went through, give me a break. There just playing money games, they probably fixed it so it would look like they were reducing the tax on the home owner, when in fact they only wanted a 5 percent tax hike. Also homeowners do own cars is right and if you own a business to in providence your really screwed !

I would also point out that the exemption is 1,000 not 1,500 as Solomon stated ! I to was outraged that know one on the council even acknowledge the crowd that was sitting jam packed in front of them holding car tax protest signs!

As far as being a critic of Taveras, I am a democrat first of all and when you cut expenses then start giving raises in city hall, what do you expect me to say great job. There so broke there hiring people at hundred and fifty thousand dollar salaries. Why doesn't the Mayor rescind those pay raises? Perception is everything. He fires the teachers hires them back, now a bunch of them are just collecting a check sitting all day down town, there goes his savings. I thought when he was running for office he said he was going to pave prairie ave, instead Broadway is getting paved and there are certainly worse streets in disrepair and sidewalks before paving Broadway.Now he is raising property, business, tangible and car taxes, so its way to easy to criticize the mayor.

The city has to cut more spending, reduce the pays and raises in city hall, go after the big tax exempt universites like Brown and get them to pay a lot more and get more business to stay in providence and residents as well. I just moved back to providence since then I have a $300 increase on my car insurance, a new car tax bill, possibly a higher increase in rent do to the property tax increase, whats keeping me in providence lol.

Comment #14 by anthony sionni on 2011 09 16

sign the petition ,http://www.change.org/petitions/mayor-taveras-city-council-rescind-the-motor-vehicle-tax.

Comment #15 by anthony sionni on 2011 09 16

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