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Reform Providence’s Tax Stabilization Act to guarantee fair wages and a local and diverse workforce – during and beyond construction

If our city is giving out tax breaks, working families deserve an opportunity, too.
Providence can adopt a groundbreaking ordinance that requires employers who receive city tax benefits to institute diverse hiring practices and to pay good wages during and after construction.

With strong support from construction workers, service workers, community groups, and several members of the Providence City Council, this much-needed Tax Stabilization Act needs your voice to ensure its passage.

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PROTECT PROVIDENCE’S ECONOMIC FUTURE

Now, more than ever, workers across Providence must stand together to support fair tax reforms, which would require developers to invest in apprenticeship programs, enact diverse hiring practices, and provide good wages that meet industry standards. And after construction is complete, it would guarantee that anyone employed in these new buildings must be paid living wages.

While many in Providence are still reeling from a revaluation that resulted in soaring tax bills, dozens of business owners haven’t felt the same effects. That’s because they have tax deals with the city, known officially as tax-stabilization agreements, or TSAs.

Become part of the Providence Rise Together Coalition so that, for a change, we can give a tax break that works to working families. Demand that our City Council pass this important legislation!

Now, more than ever, workers across Providence must stand together to support fair tax reforms, which would require developers to invest in apprenticeship programs, enact diverse hiring practices, and provide good wages that meet industry standards. And after construction is complete, it would guarantee that anyone employed in these new buildings must be paid living wages.

Rhode Island Family

While many in Providence are still reeling from a revaluation that resulted in soaring tax bills, dozens of business owners haven’t felt the same effects. That’s because they have tax deals with the city, known officially as tax-stabilization agreements, or TSAs.

Become part of the Providence Rise Together Coalition so that, for a change, we can give a tax break that works to working families. Demand that our City Council pass this important legislation!

Rhode Island Family

WHY IS THIS IMPORTANT?

The coronavirus recession has hit lower-wage workers the hardest, widening gaps between rich and poor, and between white and minority communities. 

National trends show that businesses are choosing to locate to urban areas over suburbs. Providence is well-positioned to take advantage of this shift by offering a high quality-of-life and lower cost-of-living than neighboring cities, easy access to large markets with close proximity to Boston and New York, and a competitive advantage in high-growth industry sectors.

Join the coalition of labor unions representing both construction workers and service workers who are calling on Providence City Council members to adopt this measure, which will strengthen our tax base and local families, and ultimately provide more funding for social services like schools and hospitals.  

The Act provides identifiable tools to promote and encourage the construction, rehabilitation, expansion, and use of commercial and residential property in new and expanding businesses. It will tie the length of TSAs to the amount of investment being made in the City of Providence, and it will standardize the process by which TSAs are reviewed and approved. 

It’s a win-win for the construction workers who build these new projects, and for the workforce that will make them function. That’s why we must all stand united to fight for the Tax Stabilization Act.

The coronavirus recession has hit lower-wage workers the hardest, widening gaps between rich and poor, and between white and minority communities. 

National trends show that businesses are choosing to locate to urban areas over suburbs. Providence is well-positioned to take advantage of this shift by offering a high quality-of-life and lower cost-of-living than neighboring cities, easy access to large markets with close proximity to Boston and New York, and a competitive advantage in high-growth industry sectors.

Join the coalition of labor unions representing both construction workers and service workers who are calling on Providence City Council members to adopt this measure, which will strengthen our tax base and local families, and ultimately provide more funding for social services like schools and hospitals.  

The Act provides identifiable tools to promote and encourage the construction, rehabilitation, expansion, and use of commercial and residential property in new and expanding businesses. It will tie the length of TSAs to the amount of investment being made in the City of Providence, and it will standardize the process by which TSAs are reviewed and approved. 

It’s a win-win for the construction workers who build these new projects, and for the workforce that will make them function. That’s why we must all stand united to fight for the Tax Stabilization Act.

STRONG SUPPORT FOR TSA

  • “Creating a standardized TSA program will take the politics out of this economic development incentive and allow for more entrepreneurs throughout our City to benefit. This tool will help us build off of Providence’s strengths and assets to spur economic growth,” said Providence Mayor Jorge Elorza. “By providing a predictable and standardized process, we are making it easier to invest while continuing to change the narrative about doing business in the capital city.”

  • “For decades, prudent fiscal controls have been lacking, while the procedure for granting and approving tax stabilization agreements has been an insider’s game,” said Providence Councilman David Salvatore. “This Act embraces new economic development initiatives that are predictable and beneficial to our local economy while protecting taxpayers. The more we continue to grow our city in an ethical manner, the more we all thrive as a community.” He added, “I deeply appreciate the Mayor and his team’s commitment to creating a prosperous local economy, and I look forward to welcoming new businesses.”

  • “Rhode Island Building Trades and Laborers Local Union 271 are in full support of the City’s efforts to standardize, streamline, level the playing field, and ensure responsible contracting policies when it comes to the tax stabilization process,” said President of the Rhode Island Building and Construction Trades Council Mike Sabitoni. “This improved process will undoubtedly encourage construction and bring back much needed jobs to Providence.”

  • “From an investor’s perspective this is what tax stabilization should look like,” said Dominic Shelzi, Esq., Executive Vice President of the Omni Group, which has realized two projects with the existing administrative program approved by the City Council in 2015. “We are excited that this program provides a fair avenue for everyone across the board who wants to contribute to the economic momentum that Providence is seeing.”
  • “Creating a standardized TSA program will take the politics out of this economic development incentive and allow for more entrepreneurs throughout our City to benefit. This tool will help us build off of Providence’s strengths and assets to spur economic growth,” said Providence Mayor Jorge Elorza. “By providing a predictable and standardized process, we are making it easier to invest while continuing to change the narrative about doing business in the capital city.”
  • “For decades, prudent fiscal controls have been lacking, while the procedure for granting and approving tax stabilization agreements has been an insider’s game,” said Providence Councilman David Salvatore. “This Act embraces new economic development initiatives that are predictable and beneficial to our local economy while protecting taxpayers. The more we continue to grow our city in an ethical manner, the more we all thrive as a community.” He added, “I deeply appreciate the Mayor and his team’s commitment to creating a prosperous local economy, and I look forward to welcoming new businesses.”

Rhode Island Tradeswoman

  • “Rhode Island Building Trades and Laborers Local Union 271 are in full support of the City’s efforts to standardize, streamline, level the playing field, and ensure responsible contracting policies when it comes to the tax stabilization process,” said President of the Rhode Island Building and Construction Trades Council Mike Sabitoni. “This improved process will undoubtedly encourage construction and bring back much needed jobs to Providence.”
  • “From an investor’s perspective this is what tax stabilization should look like,” said Dominic Shelzi, Esq., Executive Vice President of the Omni Group, which has realized two projects with the existing administrative program approved by the City Council in 2015. “We are excited that this program provides a fair avenue for everyone across the board who wants to contribute to the economic momentum that Providence is seeing.”

Special thanks to our champions in City Council who are in support of these TSA reforms. Thank you for honoring your commitment to put Providence working families first and for working actively towards creating a streamlined and transparent process to incentivize development and further grow Providence’s tax base.

City Councilors in Support

  • President Sabina Matos (Ward 15)
  • President Pro Tem Michael Correia (Ward 6)
  • Majority Leader Jo-Ann Ryan (Ward 5) 
  • Senior Deputy Majority Leader Nicholas J. Narducci Jr. (Ward 4)
  • Deputy Majority Leader Mary Kay Harris (Ward 12)
  • Councilor Carmen Castillo (Ward 9)
  • Councilman David Salvatore (Ward 14)
  • Councilwoman Nirva (Ward 3)
  • Councilwoman Helen Anthony (Ward 2)
  • Councilwoman Katherine Kerwin (Ward 12)
  • Councilwoman Rachel Miller (Ward 13)
  • Councilman James E. Taylor (Ward 8)
  • Councilman Pedro Espinal (Ward 10) 
  • Councilwoman John Goncalves (Ward 1)
  • President Sabina Matos
    (Ward 15)
  • President Pro Tem Michael Correia
    (Ward 6)
  • Majority Leader Jo-Ann Ryan
    (Ward 5) 
  • Senior Deputy Majority Leader Nicholas J. Narducci Jr.
    (Ward 4)
  • Deputy Majority Leader
    Mary Kay Harris
    (Ward 12)
  • Councilor Carmen Castillo
    (Ward 9)
  • Councilman David Salvatore
    (Ward 14)
  • Councilwoman Nirva
    (Ward 3)
  • Councilwoman Helen Anthony
    (Ward 2)
  • Councilwoman Katherine Kerwin
    (Ward 12)
  • Councilwoman Rachel Miller
    (Ward 13)
  • Councilman James E. Taylor
    (Ward 8)
  • Councilman Pedro Espinal
    (Ward 10) 
  • Councilwoman John Goncalves
    (Ward 1)

FAQ

The TSA Ordinance targets both property (i.e. real estate) and tangible (i.e. business equipment) taxes. The property tax stabilization program establishes one set of procedural guidelines while accounting for different variations of projects that can seek the subsidy. The tangible tax stabilization program targets equipment used by businesses that support strategic economic growth areas in Providence, including: Food, Biotechnology, Arts, Robotics, and Life Sciences.

It provides a predictable tax phase-in plan and a clear procedure by which such TSAs can be obtained. Further, it establishes clear criteria for eligibility for tax stabilization incentives, as well as a defined plan to bring a project to full taxation.

All recipients of TSAs under this Ordinance would be required to comply with the City’s existing ordinances and policies pertaining to First Source participation, Minority and Women’s Business Enterprises, and Equal Employment Opportunity. Larger developments with project costs in excess of $3 million must comply with the City’s requirements for the construction apprenticeship utilization program.

Learn more

City Tax Stabilization Act Page

City of Providence 2020 Tax Stabilization Agreement Portfolio

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