By CATHERINE WELCH
PROVIDENCE, RI – The House Finance Committee has approved legislation allowing the City of Woonsocket to levy an extra 13 percent tax on property and vehicles. The tax will raise $6.6 million for the financially troubled city. It will help the Woonsocket School Department fill a $10 million budget gap. Rhode Island Public Radio political analyst Scott MacKay says the tax hike may not make the residents of Woonsocket happy - but it will put off bankruptcy.
"The next move here is that the people in Woonsocket, the city council and Mayor Fontaine will have to go back and rectify their structural deficit," MacKay explains. "But this is a stop gap measure that appears to give Woonsocket the breathing time that the city government is going to need to make sure they don't become the next Central Falls."
The House Finance Committee passed the bill 12 - 2. The measure passed in the Senate earlier this month. Woonsocket has warned that if nothing's done, it will run out of cash by June 4th.
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