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Tue July 12, 2011
Providence: car tax will be linked to property tax break
By FLO JONIC
PROVIDENCE, RI – Providence Mayor Angel Taveras - who just six weeks ago said he was opposed to an increase in the car tax - has reversed course. He says he will not oppose a vehicle tax hike approved by the City Council Finance Committee because the committee is also taking steps to increase its historically low collection rate.
Under a proposed ordinance, Providence property owners would have to prove their cars are registered in the city to qualify for the homestead exemption which cuts property taxes in half for owner occupied properties.
Providence City Councilor John Igliozzi, who heads the finance committee, says the law will improve the auto tax collection rate, which has historically hovered around 50 percent.
"We need to broaden the tax base the best we can with the tools we have right now and also to spread the responsibility," says Igliozzi. "You can't just put it all on the homeowners."
The Committee rejected the mayor's proposed 13 percent property tax hike, rolling it back to five percent. Igliozzi says it also approved two furlough days for non-union city employees and defunded ten vacant positions the Mayor wanted to fill.
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