Why Providence might overhaul its tax picture. The future of the Providence Place mall. Another vote on abortion rights.
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Happy Tuesday and welcome to Rhode Map, your daily guide to everything happening in the Biggest Little. I’m Dan McGowan and I was inspired by that comeback from the Warriors last night. Send tips to Dan.McGowan@globe.com.
Here’s the dilemma Providence leaders are facing:
The city is in desperate need of more property tax revenue because it has to pay for rising pension and healthcare costs for retirees — and the modest raises that have already been promised to most employees — while still managing to fill the occasional pothole and fix broken sidewalks.
This year is supposed to be easy for Mayor Jorge Elorza and the City Council because a mandatory property revaluation sent values soaring, giving them the ability to blame state law for a spike in tax bills for many homeowners.
But because values didn’t grow at the same pace throughout the city, some of the more expensive homes on the East Side are in line for a small tax cut while homeowners in other neighborhoods, like the West End and Federal Hill, are facing large hikes.
Now council leaders believe they have crafted a plan that could overhaul the city’s tax picture by reestablishing a homestead exemption on a tiered basis so that homes valued over $800,000 get less of a tax break than homes worth less than $350,000.
Finance Committee Chairman John Igliozzi said Monday that most homeowners will still see a tax increase under his plan, but it won’t be as large as the one Elorza proposed earlier this year. Many East Side homeowners would still be in line for a small reduction in their tax bill.
Elorza met privately with council leadership at City Hall Monday, but did not sign off on the plan. Councilors Seth Yurdin and Nirva LaFortune say a tax overhaul like this deserves more public scrutiny. But the majority of the council appears ready to move quickly on the tiered homestead.
NEED TO KNOW
Rhode Map wants to hear from you. If you’ve got a scoop or a link to an interesting news story in Rhode Island, e-mail us at RInews@globe.com.
• What’s the future of Providence Place? Don’t miss my look at the biggest challenges the mall’s new owners are facing and the prominent local lobbyists trying to help them.
• A quick follow from yesterday’s Rhode Map: While state leaders are confident mobile sports betting will be ready for the NFL season, former Rhode Island GOP Chairman Brandon Bell wrote in to remind me there’s still a lawsuit pending challenging the constitutionality of sports gambling in the state.
• A roundup of David Ortiz coverage from the Globe: The former Red Sox star returned to Boston last night after he was seriously injured in a shooting in the Dominican Republic Sunday ... What we know so far... Here’s how Red Sox brass handled the news... Meet the man who drove Ortiz to the hospital.
• Former Rhode Island Supreme Court Justice Robert Flanders has joined the board of directors at the Rhode Island Center for Freedom and Prosperity, the conservative advocacy group founded by Mike Stenhouse.
• Providence and Central Falls scored a legal victory yesterday against the Trump administration when US District Court Judge John J. McConnell Jr. ruled the Justice Department can’t force the cities to comply with several new anti-sanctuary city policies in exchange for federal funding for law enforcement. The case was argued by attorneys Jeffrey Dana and Matt Jerzyk.
WHAT’S ON TAP TODAY
E ach day, Rhode Map offers a cheat sheet breaking down what’s happening in Rhode Island. Have an idea? E-mail us at RInews@globe.com.
• The Senate Judiciary Committee will take up a revised abortion rights bill today and leadership is confident it will pass. The Globe’s Ed Fitzpatrick takes a look at where things stand. Bonus: Both Ed and Amanda Milkovits will be at the State House for today’s vote. E-mail them if you want to talk.
• Over in House Judiciary, a vote is expected on Secretary of State Nellie Gorbea’s proposal to move the primaries to August.
• Tonight at CCRI, the Council on Postsecondary Education will discuss URI’s proposal to create its own board of trustees.
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