I don’t know Providence finances well enough to quibble with Mayor Angel Tavares’s budget proposal, but in emphasis and presentation it stands in stark contrast to Governor Lincoln Chafee. Tavares led with controversial and concrete initiatives for spending reduction, while Chafee led with a massive tax increase. Maybe they’ll get to the same place — if the unions and the General Assembly refuse to go along with Tavares’s plan, for one possibility — but I doubt it.
The mayor’s budget contrasts with others in this respect:
His budget includes raising the tax levy by 5.25 percent—one percent more than what is currently allowed by state law.
That’s being touted as a major “sharing of the pain,” but from the perspective of Tiverton, it’s less than the average annual tax increase over the past decade. It puts things in perspective for me that a city on the brink of catastrophe considers an extreme measure to be less than our business as usual.
I guess those who’ve run the government, in Tiverton, haven’t been as keen on “sharing the pain” as inflicting it.