OP-ED

It's time to tax income producing non-profits

Posted

“Providence needs a tax revolt.” I first saw this statement on a sign on Smith Street years ago. It was erected on the property of a good businessman, who had spent almost two decades honorably serving the community of Smith Hill. Years later, he is gone, but the statement remains true. We need a revolt, and the revolt must start at the State House.
Non-profits hold approximately 42 percent of the taxable real estate within the City of Providence. Under current state law, Providence does not have the right to levy taxes on those properties. Even if a non-profit owner uses land in a manner that competes directly with “for profit” businesses, the non-profit cannot be taxed. State law forbids it.
This differential in tax treatment for the same activity causes two problems. First, it creates an unfair advantage over local businesses that pay taxes. This tends to drive business away over the long term. Second, as non-profits continue to buy up key areas of Providence, their non-profit status pulls money off of the tax rolls. This punishes local homeowners and small businesspersons, who must pay more than their fair share.
It’s time to change state law. Boston, which boasts a growing and dynamic local economy, gets 16 percent on average of what a for-profit would pay, including hospitals, universities and major cultural centers. Providence, according to information from the city, gets as little as four percent from certain major non-profit institutions.
While Providence has done a number of things to improve its financial picture in the past few years, it faces pension obligations that were a result of over promising and underfunding by past administrations. Providence also needs to upgrade and repair important public infrastructure that has been neglected for too long. We need to upgrade our schools. Times change and our economic and tax policies must evolve accordingly.
There are many ideas about what the first step should look like. Any tax on non-profits must be justified and fair. One idea is to tax based on how certain real estate is used. This is a logical extension of how taxes are commonly administered in municipalities, where commercial uses are often taxed differently than residential uses.
The economic health of Providence is critical to any sustained economic success in Rhode Island. A failed Providence would be a difficult burden for the state to carry. A healthy Providence, like Boston, can be a powerful economic engine. A healthy Providence can help carry the state. It is time to empower our cities and towns with this essential financial tool.

State Rep. Daniel P. McKiernan, a Democrat, represents District 7 in Providence.

Comments

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davebarry109

Rep Dan, you're just wrong. The non-profits have been paying PILOT funds for years. Brown was extorted for millions of Payment in Lieu of Taxes (PILOT). Now you want to tax them? Providence is in a fiscal mess not because they don't tax too much, but because they SPEND too much. Decades of corruption and one party control has given the unions everything they want. Add to that the sanctuary city aspect and welfare magnet and you get a recipe for disaster.

Thursday, November 2, 2017
richardcorrente

Dear Davebarrry109,

I would agree with you if the PILOTs were anywhere NEAR what the non-profit would have paid in taxes.

They're not.

They're not even close.

They are embarrassingly too little to compensate the city for the municipal services received.

The result? Everyone else pays more than their fair share.

I agree that our hospitals and schools should pay somewhat less in taxes, but what the do pay is insulting, especially when you total the profits that these "non-profits" are really making. By statute the "company" can't make a profit, but it's amazing how much the people at the top receive. They just can't call it "profit".

I saw a poster once of a pretty girl leaning up against someone else's expensive car for a picture. The caption read "I don't want to be rich. I just want to live that way."

On the other hand I agree with you completely about the over-spending. Perhaps a combination of those two ideas is best.

Happy Thanksgiving davebarry109.

Happy Thanksgiving everyone.

Rick Corrente

The Taxpayers Mayor

Sunday, November 5, 2017
KaptainMorgan

Grab your popcorn everyone, the fun will soon begin!

The audacity of this lunatic is absolutely amazing! I think he really believes the crap spewing from his lips. YOU HAVE NO RIGHT complaining about taxes when you don't pay your share!!!

Sunday, November 5, 2017
Kammy

"The result? Everyone else pays more than their fair share."

Unless you are the self-proclaimed fake mayor of taxpayers. He didn't pay his fair share either. Aren't you even the tiniest bit embarrassed? You can't call out something you don't do yourself.

Tuesday, November 7, 2017
Thecaptain

Amazingly, a historical search of the fake mayor's rental property located at 1115 Greenwich Ave. indicates that every single tax payment was delinquent. In fact, from the time period of 2004 to 2016 his total interest penalties due to tax delinquency totaled $8267.79.

Now, I am hoping that the fake mayor tax cheat challenges this accusation so that I can cut and paste the xcel spread sheet showing the data.

Tuesday, November 7, 2017
richardcorrente

Dear Kammy,

I do pay my fair share. I pay my taxes in my mortgage payment to Bank of America. I don't think they pay them late but if they do that is MORE tax money for the City of Warwick, not less. If that is the case, Warwick receives MORE, not less. One more thing: I am not the "self-proclaimed fake mayor" as you say. I call myself "The Taxpayers Mayor" because I feel that I am a servant of the Warwick taxpayer. I am exceptionally proud of that because I had something to do with cutting taxes in Warwick. I campaigned for over 700 days in a row and my message got through. When the 2017 budget came up Mayor Avedisian tried to increase taxes 29 times and was unanimously shot down by the City Council every single time. I spoke to all 9 members of the City Council and they all said their constituents demanded the Council-people "Cut Taxes - Cut Spending". Their constituents got that message from me. You can say I had a lot to do with it or very little, but my 700 days had something to do with influencing the City Council. For that enormous effort, I gave myself the Taxpayers Mayor nick-name.

Happy Thanksgiving Kammy.

Happy Thanksgiving everyone.

Rick Corrente

The Taxpayers Mayor

Monday, November 13, 2017
Kammy

Okay Richard, let's make this easy. You have run for public office and plan to again so these questions are quite reasonable.

What vehicle did you drive between 2013 and 2015 and where was it registered?

Did you pay taxes after 2013 at your 77 Grand View property?

Thecaptain has been diligent in doing his homework. He has referenced public records on numerous occasions which you side-step every single time. You like to throw out a red herring and comment on that you weren't late on taxes for your 1115 Greenwich Ave. property but you never reply regarding your vehicle and 77 Grand View. If you have, then please point me to that mention.

You said, "One more thing: I am not the "self-proclaimed fake mayor" as you say. I call myself "The Taxpayers Mayor" because I feel that I am a servant of the Warwick taxpayer." Then why not call yourself servant? The very definition of mayor is , "the ELECTED or APPOINTED head of a city, town or other municipality". You are neither. Do you not understand you are making a false and fake claim?

It is starting to become alarming that you are not able to see what you are doing is wrong. You comment on paying taxes and there is proof that you have failed to pay your taxes during certain points over the years. You claim to be a mayor and you haven't been elected to the position. Tell me Richard, what else are you lying about?

Thursday, November 16, 2017
richardcorrente

Dear Kammy,

Here are your answers.

1. I drove my Lexus, license plate "BANKRS". It was registered at 177 Grand View Drive with the Registry of Motor Vehicles. It was insured with Butler and Messier and if all taxes of 2012, 2013, and 2014 were NOT paid, it would be impossible, per Chris Celeste, the Tax Collector, for me to have registered it after 2014. You MUST pay all taxes of prior years to register for the current one. Factually, they were. So was the insurance. To say otherwise is a Rob Cote lie. Feel free to contact the parties above. Or, if you prefer, believe Rob Cote's lie. (You don't believe that Mayor Avedisian's employee, Chris Celeste would let Scotts' biggest vote-getting opponent in seventeen years, get away with not paying taxes, do you? You're smarter than that Kammy.)

2. I have paid ALL TAXES I have ever owed on EVERY property I have ever owned, personal or real estate (29 houses altogether). When I sued my lender in Federal Court for breaking Rhode Island law, AND WON, they were Federal-court ordered to pay my taxes (even though the bill came out in my name). They DID pay them, AND they paid them LATE so the City of Warwick benefited by receiving even MORE MONEY, but don't thank me. They made the extra payments. Anyone who says otherwise is lying...again. So Kammy, you can believe Rob Cote's lie if you prefer, or you can check with Chris Celeste. Your choice.

Oh, and one more thing: Your buddy, The Captain, AKA Rob Cote says I have paid over $8,000 in late fees on my 1115 Greenwich Ave. property. I called my lender, Ocwen. They tell me they have always paid my tax payments ON TIME. I pay taxes every month in my monthly mortgage along with the insurance, principle and interest. If they paid "8,267.79 extra then you're welcome! Warwick, once again, benefited by the extra money. The truth of the matter is, they didn't. Another Cote lie.

I do agree with you about the definition of the title "Mayor". However, I refer to myself as "The Taxpayers Mayor", not just "Mayor", (big difference) and I have often stated that the title is self-proclaimed. Kammy, if you don't like reading that self-proclaimed title...don't!

Merry Christmas Kammy.

Merry Christmas everyone.

Rick Corrente

The Taxpayers Mayor

Friday, November 24, 2017
Kammy

If you claim you did pay taxes on your vehicle then that means the information that has been made public is incorrect. If that is the case, wouldn't you want it to be corrected to reflect that you paid your taxes? No one else but you can make that happen. Maybe you should contact "Chris Celeste, the Tax Collector" to correct the misinformation? That way, you would have one less "accusation" thrown your way when you try to run for office again. Ditto for the property tax.

You lack complete and total comprehension of ethical behavior. The taxpayers you say you represent didn't elect you.

Monday, December 4, 2017