Ward 7

Councilman John J. Igliozzi

Councilman John J. Igliozzi has been on the City Council since 1997. He currently serves as Majority Whip and represents constituents who live in Ward 7; the westernmost neighborhoods of Hartford and Silver Lake. Councilman Igliozzi serves as Chairman of the Committee on Finance.

 

READ HIS FULL BIO HERE >

Ward 7: Hartford & Silverlake

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City Council to Move Forward with Single Tax Rate and Single Homestead Exemption

The City Council leadership team would like to thank our sponsors in both the House and Senate for their support of the Council’s progressive tax plan. Tonight, the Rhode Island Senate voted in favor of the Council’s proposed tax plan, while the House of Representatives requested more time and review. The Council is committed to this tax plan and will provide any additional information as requested.

Council President Sabina Matos stated: “I am grateful for the support that we received in the General Assembly. Although we didn’t get the result we had hoped, we have laid the groundwork to continue the discussion on the best path forward in creating a progressive tax plan here in our capital city.”

“I want to thank the Senate leadership for their broad support of our plan that would provide tax relief to the most disadvantaged neighborhoods in our City,” stated Chairman of the Council’s Committee on Finance and Councilman John J. Igliozzi. “I would also like to thank the Speaker of the House, and the Representatives for their consideration of our bold plan. This is the first step in creating a truly progressive tax plan that benefits all residents and not just some.”

Less than seven weeks ago, Mayor Elorza introduced his budget which called for a significant increase in spending and also raised the property taxes of the most disadvantaged neighborhoods in Providence. While giving 1% of the City’s wealthiest property owners a tax break. It was the goal of the Council’s leadership team to mitigate that by utilizing a progressive tax plan.

City Council leadership is still committed to providing tax relief to the citizens of Providence, and will present a budget that will include a flat tax rate, and will incorporate a single homestead exemption for every resident of Providence. The majority of the Committee on Finance and the Council believe that bringing back the homestead exemption will help the most disadvantaged neighborhoods in Providence. Many of those neighborhoods saw 30, 40, and even 50% increases in their property revaluations, and this plan will work to protect those individuals.

“We have a fiscal obligation to ensure that we are being good stewards of our City’s finances,” stated Vice-Chairwoman of the Committee on Finance and City Council Majority Leader Jo-Ann Ryan. “The Committee will work to ensure that we pass a budget that is sound and begins to address our long term pension obligation. I thank Council President Matos and Chairman Igliozzi for their leadership, Senate and House sponsors and representatives for their consideration, and my colleagues for their tireless work to lessen the tax burden of our residents.”

It is the Committee’s goal to have the budget passed out of Committee as early as the end of this week, and then passed by the full Council the first week of July.

Senate Committee Passes Enabling Legislation

Rhode Island Senate Housing and Municipal Government Committee

Passes City Council’s Enabling Legislation to Enact a Homestead Exemption

Last night after more than three hours of testimony, the Rhode Island Senate Housing and Municipal Government Committee, Chaired by Senator Frank Lombardo, III, unanimously passed enabling legislation that would allow for the City Council to move forward with a homestead tax exemption.

In addition to the Senate’s Housing and Municipal Government Committee’s passage, the City Council voted 9-1 in support of the enabling legislation. Council President Sabina Matos, Councilman John Igliozzi, Councilman David Salvatore, Councilman Seth Yurdin, and Councilwoman Nirva LaFortune were at the State House for the Committee’s hearing and were absent from the Council meeting.

“Tonight was a victory for the residents of Providence,” stated City Council President Sabina Matos. “The Council received the Mayor’s proposed budget, calling for an additional $15M in spending, which included a tax proposal that my team felt was inequitable. We are willing and continue to work with the Mayor, but we needed to put into place a mechanism that gave us options, and that is what this enabling legislation does. We appreciate and thank the Committee for their support.”

The City Council leadership team last week introduced a tax proposal that would create an even playing field for all homeowners. The proposal calls for a flat tax rate of $24.56 per $1K of assessed value and would provide a homestead exemption of 40% up to $350K of assessed value, and then a 28% homestead on every $1K of assessed value after that.

The Chairman of the Council’s Committee on Finance and Councilman John J. Igliozzi, Esq. said, “As a body, we must work to protect the most vulnerable amongst us. The plan that we have put forward will provide a break to roughly 86% of owner-occupied properties in Providence. These homeowners are working two jobs to make ends meet; they are the retirees on a fixed income who are making decisions about paying their electric bill or filling a prescription; and they are the single parents trying to give their families a better life. A tax increase of even $200 can be devastating to those on tight budgets. While 7% of owner-occupied properties will see a slight increase in their tax rate over the Mayor’s plan, but will still pay less in property taxes than they did last year, and finally only 7% will likely see a raise in their tax bill over last year.”

The enabling legislation was sponsored in the Rhode Island Senate by Senators Frank Ciccone, Ana Quezada and Samuel Bell all of Providence. The legislation allows for the City Council to grant a homestead exemption to the owner-occupied residencies that may be a flat amount, a uniform rate, or a variable rate based on the value of a property. The Committee is chaired by Senator Frank Lombardo III, the Vice-Chairwoman is Senator Elizabeth A. Crowley, and the Committee’s Secretary is Senator Donna M. Nesselbush, and is comprised of the following members Senators Samuel W. Bell, Hanna M. Gallo, Roger A. Picard, and Gordon E. Rogers.

“Since a freshman Councilor I have worked alongside Chairman Igliozzi on the Council’s Committee on Finance, and we have always put the needs of Providence’s residents first,” stated Majority Leader and Vice-Chairwoman of the Committee on Finance Jo-Ann Ryan. “Providence is facing serious financial burdens, and we have many fiscal obligations that we must meet, but meeting them on the backs of the most disadvantaged neighborhoods is not good governance. We must address inefficiencies in our dealings as a City, and we also need to address the inequities in the Mayor’s tax proposal. I believe that our plan achieves that goal.”

The Council’s Committee on Finance will continue to meet to pass a budget that is fair and equitable for all residents of Providence. Chairman Igliozzi has asked his colleagues and members of the community to make suggestions on ways to amend the budget, and other ideas on how to bring the tax rate lower. The Council has no plans to dismantle any department but is looking at keeping some programs or departments level-funded.

Enabling legislation has also been introduced in the Rhode Island House of Representatives by Representatives Daniel McKiernan, Anastasia Williams, Joseph Almeida, Charlene Lima, and Mario Mendez. They are slated to hear this matter in the coming days.

Council’s Committee on Finance to Look at Cutting the Mayor’s Proposed Budget

Councilman John J. Igliozzi, Chairman of the Council’s Committee on Finance, on Friday, June 14, invited his Council colleagues to attend budget hearings this week to discuss potential cuts to the budget to lower the tax burden on the city’s residents. The first meeting took place this evening.

“We have a moral and ethical obligation to help the most economically challenged neighborhoods,” stated Councilman John J. Igliozzi, Esq. and chairman of the Council’s Committee on Finance. “When we received the budget from the Mayor at the end of April it included an increase of $15M over last year and a tax plan that disproportionately raised the tax levy on the lowest valued houses; while the most valued homes would see a decrease in their taxes, which ironically is only 1% of the properties in our city. How is that fair? We hear the Mayor speak about ‘equity’ all the time, but his tax plan is nothing if not inequitable. It taxes the poorest while giving the most affluent the biggest breaks. The Council Leadership team proposed a plan that we believe to be equitable, but what we keep hearing from the community is that we must cut the budget to bring down the tax rate. That’s what we plan to do.”

The Committee on Finance has begun to go line by line through the budget to make the cuts needed to keep the city running, to keep city services level, and to lower the tax burden on all residents, not just the affluent. For every $1.2M in budget cuts, we can reduce the tax rate by $0.20. A deduction of $5M from the budget would be $1 off the tax rate.

Majority Leader and Vice-Chairwoman of the Councils’ Committee on Finance Jo-Ann Ryan stated, “We have worked very hard to bring to the table a plan that is not just equitable, but fair. We will continue to look at the budget to reduce inefficiencies and reduce spending so that we can lower the tax burden further. The Council was handed a budget that called for an increase in spending of $15M, and while many of those line items are worthy of support, we can’t take from the most vulnerable to pay for them. We are committed to thinking creatively and to working outside the box to make sure that everyone is starting at the same baseline.”

The Committee on Finance is planning on holding two other meetings this week on Wednesday, June 19, and Thursday, June 20, beginning at 5:00 PM. (Please note the Committee will adjourn at 6:45 on Thursday in preparation for the regularly scheduled City Council meeting and will reopen the meeting upon the meetings completion.) The Committee will gladly take public comment on the budget and tax plans at the end of each of these meetings.

Majority Leader Ryan continued, “It is paramount that citizens get a voice in decisions that affect them, and holding open meetings, and allowing for this discourse will ensure that residents will be heard. It’s not easy governing a city with massive obligations and liabilities, and for four years we have managed not to raise taxes, but with such a significant increase in spending in the Mayor’s budget we needed to create equity. I know the Committee looks forward to hearing from the community in the coming days.”

As the Council’s Committee on Finance moves through the process they plan to examine all plausible options to pass a budget that is fair and equitable for all of Providence.

You can view the proposed budget here: Budget Book.

The Council’s Committee on Finance meetings is listed on the City Council website, on the City’s Open Meeting’s Portal, and the State’s Open Meetings Portal.

 

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