Economy
6:56 am
Tue March 1, 2011

Taveras to detail city's finances by week's end

PROVIDENCE, R.I. – The Providence financial reckoning becomes clear later this week. City Hall sources say Mayor Angel Taveras is expected to detail the dire condition of city government finances by Thursday.

The Taveras administration isn't saying anything on the record at this point; mayoral spokeswoman Melissa Withers is adamant about not confirming any projected deficit numbers.

But City Hall sources say the deficit numbers are brutal - in the order of more than $25 million in the current fiscal year and in the $100 million neighborhood for the fiscal year that begins July 1.

Sources say that when the numbers are revealed, everybody who understands politics and budgeting in this state will understand why Taveras issued the termination slips to nearly 2,000 city teachers last week.

The city is teetering on the brink of insolvency. If the reports from inside City Hall are accurate - and there is no reason at this point to think they are not - Providence would be facing its worst financial crisis since 1981, when the mayor was Vincent A. Cianci Jr.

The city has been stripped of about $50 million in state aid in the past few years and has been limited on property tax increases.

Read more at Scott MacKay's On Politics blog.

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