Monday, May 1, 2017

Rhode Island GOP: No Providential Bailouts with Higher Taxes!


On Tuesday, there will be a hearing at the House Corporations Committee on House Bill 6122. This bill will create a regional water authority but it really aims to give more money to the City of Providence by increasing the water bills of any customer who purchases water from Providence Water directly or indirectly in such communities as Providence, Cranston, North Providence, Johnston, Smithfield, East Providence, Bristol, Warren, Barrington, Warwick, Coventry, East Greenwich, West Greenwich and West Warwick. The proposed legislation specifically prohibits state regulators from using "any purchase payment, lease payment, or management fee payment" for the Providence Water system "to benefit directly or indirectly of the ratepayers" of the Providence Water system. Instead any payment will go the City of Providence although the customers of the Providence Water in fact paid for the water system.

Rhode Island Republican Party Chairman Brandon S. Bell commented: "This ridiculous bill is just a scheme to bail out the City of Providence by hiking up the water bills of customers across Rhode Island. This was explained four years ago by Steven Frias, the R.I. Republican National Committeeman, in a column entitled "A hidden tax on the water you drink" regarding a comparable piece of legislation. Speaker Nicholas Mattiello and Governor Gina Raimondo should speak out against this bill. Rhode Islanders pay enough in taxes. We do not need to pay a hidden water tax to bail out the City of Providence."

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