September 25, 2010

The Missing Tools - Why Car and Property Taxes are Going Up in Too Many Cities and Towns

Monique Chartier

In an e-blast yesterday, the John Robitaille campaign helpfully supplied the list for which I have been hunting since the end of the last G.A. session: all of the local budget control tools which the General Assembly refused to supply to cities and towns. (One item only from the list made it into law: a statewide school bus system.)

• Establish a Statewide School Food Services Program
• Establish a Statewide School Health, Dental Insurance
• Establish a Statewide Purchasing Systems
• Establish a Statewide School Transportation System
• Suspend the Caroulo Act When Aid is Reduced
• Repeal the Requirement that School Nurses be Certified Teachers
• Make Changes to Teacher Layoff Procedures
• Require Posting of Collective Bargaining Agreements
• Strengthen RIDE authority to suspend collective bargaining and intervene, and to evaluate teachers
• Restore management rights to school committees
• Base Police and Fire arbitration decisions on last best offer
• Modify the scope and criteria of binding arbitration for police and fire
• Remove minimum manning from collective bargaining/arbitration
• Require 25% health insurance cost sharing for municipal employees
• Make comprehensive changes to municipal pension and disability programs
• Limit injured on duty compensation for public safety workers
• Impose requirements for collective bargaining agreements to which the State is a party

Robitaille correctly noted that

Passage of these articles would reduce costs, restore management rights and make up for any lost revenue resulting from the elimination of the car excise tax.

The refusal to furnish these tools, of course, added legislative insult to the budgetary injury of the reduction of state aid in the form of car tax revenue. Platitudes by House leadership that municipalities "do business differently" and "be lean" ring hollow in the wilful absence of the means to accomplish this.

As for why this happened, it's difficult to argue with Robitaille's conclusion.

The only explanation for inaction is that those interests who have a stake in keeping things the way they are won out over the taxpayers and fiscal responsibility.
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Have you heard the same heavy rumors that I have-that Lil Frankie's people are loudly assuring the unions that the unfunded mandates will not be touched in a Caprio administration?

Posted by: Tommy Cranston at September 25, 2010 7:13 PM

"Strengthen RIDE authority to suspend collective bargaining and intervene, and to evaluate teachers"

I agree with everything but this. I don't think most of the citizenry of RI understands the utter incompetence at RIDE. They claim poverty plays no role in the failure of low performing school. The only other common denominator is RIDE themselves. Take note of the highest performing districts in the state. They're the districts that have told RIDE to screw. So it only leaves the lowest performing districts for them to ruin.

that I would imagine he'll keep Gist around. Sure she supports canning teachers in low performing districts. What people don't realize is she supports every left-wing organization in education that will step in to run these schools.

Posted by: Glockster at September 25, 2010 11:38 PM

robitlie can send all the email blast he wants ... he is regretible not relivent ... there are 2 consevitives in the race and voteing for john is just a vote for chafee... sorry to be blunt but thats the truth.. he doesnt have the organizaton funding or any thing else that makes him relivent.. no offese thats just the truth .. if u want to live in never never land than thats ok.. john is a great guy who didnt do the work needed to be a real candidate . in this world like it or not its money and organization ,,, havel the repulican organization is with caprio .. and why not he has worked and voted with the gov when the gov needed him . Caprio has shown his metal when it was tuff..and look at his fund raise list ... its a whos who of our party ..

Posted by: neoconri at September 26, 2010 4:42 PM

"there are 2 consevitives in the race"

... um, could you possibly be counting Frank Caprio as the second conservative? Gio had a great line on that score:

"No matter how much he wants to be a Republican, he's a Democrat."

Posted by: Monique at September 26, 2010 10:29 PM

he is regretible not relivent

Speaking of "relivent,", you'd best run along now. The adults are talking.

Posted by: EMT at September 27, 2010 8:13 AM