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Cicilline Says Colleges Facing PILOT Legislation (posted April 19, 2002)

Time is running out for area colleges to reach an agreement with the city of Providence on providing payments, according to Mayor David Cicilline. Appearing on the WPRI-TV show "Newsmakers" with Jack White and Scott MacKay, Cicilline warned that "if we don't see progress soon, ... I intend to seek legislation to require payments in lieu of taxes" from Brown University, Providence College, Johnson and Wales University, and the Rhode Island School of Design.

While acknowledging that the colleges provide jobs and generate sales and income tax for the state, the mayor complained that "we don't have a big economic spin-off yet in Providence" from universities the way there has been in Boston and other cities. The deadline for a voluntary agreement was "weeks", the mayor indicated. He said if the colleges did not come to terms with the city, "I intend to go to the legislature."

When asked by MacKay about rumors the city planned to seek a $3 increase in the property tax levy, Cicilline said "there will not be a tax increase in the city of Providence unless I have exhausted all other available options." Among the places he is seeking cash beyond local colleges is labor unions representing city workers, spending reductions, businesses, the state legislature, and management savings. He promised not to raise taxes to the point where the city became uncompetitive in the region.

Mayor Cicilline said the city had filled over 70,000 potholes in Providence over this winter and was working on plans to clean up neighborhoods across the city.
Copyright 2000Karen Martin Media Services