State To Help Mayor Taveras Pull Providence Out Of Budget Hole
With Providence on the verge of bankruptcy, Mayor Taveras is now working with Governor Chafee and leaders in the General Assembly on ways the state can help pull the city out of a $30 million budget hole.
Mayor Taveras says he is not looking for a bailout, he is looking for a long term solution.
“We need to fix this structurally so we don't end up here again 6 months from now,” Taveras said.
How Taveras plans on coming up with the money is still up in the air. He says he will ask tax-exempt schools to pay up, which would put $7 million in Providence's pocket.
“I do not have a magic order in mind,” Taveras said. “But what I do have in mind is a bottom line requirement as to what we need to get to.”
It is a numbers game with the goal of avoiding what would be a devastating outcome from the city of Providence.
“Our state needs it. We have one of the highest unemployment rates in the country,” Taveras said. “What do you think is going to happen if our capital city files for bankruptcy?”
Former Providence Mayor Joseph Paolino says as the city waits for concrete solutions, the clock is ticking, and the concerns are mounting.
“He may have no alternative if there's bankruptcy,” Paolino said. “You're going to have a devaluation of all real-estate in the city of Providence. A lot of businesses will think twice about coming here. Why would they want to invest in a bankrupt city?”