Remember, Woonsocket, Lisa B.H. Was One of the First to Vote for the Supplemental Tax


Woonsocket taxpayers are angry and they have good reason to be. They are faced with steep property tax increases in the triple-barrel form of a supplemental tax bill, already dispatched; reduction of the homestead exemption; and a tax rate increase at the 4% state maximum every year for the next … four years? five?

Accordingly, the incumbent mayor, Leo Fontaine, along with sitting council members, may have a tough time getting re-elected next month.

The main challenger to Mayor Fontaine, Representative Lisa Baldelli-Hunt (D), may well ride that anger into the mayor’s office. It is important to note, however, that she has not been an innocent by-stander in the tax pain that has been inflicted on Woonsocket taxpayers. After publicly and tearfully torpedoing the supplemental tax bill in the General Assembly in 2012, she became its primary sponsor this year. (Thanks to Andrew Morse for supplying the link to the bill.) More on the final supplemental tax bill here by the Pawtucket Times’ excellent Jim Baron.

Last week, WPRO‘s Gene Valicenti asked Baldelli-Hunt point blank if, as mayor, she would rescind any of these tax hikes. She refused to do so by way of a non-specific but dark innuendo.

GV: You wouldn’t make a pled … you wouldn’t make a statement as bold as saying, “Under Mayor Baldelli-Hunt, those tax hikes will not go through”.

LBH: No, I wouldn’t do that. Because, because, Gene, we really don’t know the truth about what’s happening within the walls of City Hall.

During the campaign, Baldelli-Hunt has repeatedly talked about taking Woonsocket in a “new direction”. In how much of a new direction could a facilitator of a large part of these tax hikes take the city?

  • Chris caramela

    Funny, we in RI keep getting promised new directions but keep heading down the same dirt roads loaded with potholes , higher taxes, lower service and an ever present taste of Poo Poo in our mouths

  • Guest

    It is actually worse. Woonsocket's finances were also negatively affected by the General Assembly cutting state funding to the city repeatedly over the last few years…millions of dollars worth. And guess who voted to do underfund the city? You guessed it…Ms. Hunt.

    She will probably win the election, as you state, on the wave of general anger. The irony is almost painful…angry, uninformed people of that city will vote in a person whose policies and actions helped place the city in the bind it finds itself…and fire the person who has kept the city afloat and actually has a plan… What is the old saying…no good deed goes unpunished?

    • Guest 2

      Oh please – who was City Council President for the last 14 years before he became Mayor? If he did not know what was going on shame on him!! Stop blaming everyone else and take the blame for leading the City into this mess!

  • Guest

    Your post, guest 2, is meaningless, but that is par for the course here in RI. Does the city council president vote in the GA? Does the mayor? Does the mayor or council decide policies that have headed many towns and cities into bankruptcy? I note that you don't refute the facts posted here. Open your eyes.

  • Mike

    I read that the original supplemental tax bill exempted seniors from the supplemental tax. However, HB 6102, the bill sponsored by Ms. Hunt, removed the senior exemption. When she says shared sacrifice, she means it…. I applaud the fairness, but where is the compassion and empathy for seniors on fixed incomes?

  • MoniqueAR

    Yup, I just spotted that, Mike. That's a problem. LBH is presumably hoping that that doesn't get any publicity. Every senior in Woonsocket needs to ask her why she torpedoed a bill that INCLUDED an exemption for them and then sponsored a bill that EXCLUDED it.

  • Some nonsense decision causes very bad impact over citizens. And Lisa's poor determination causing us now extra tax. Anyway I hope Woonsocket will come up with an excellent idea to fixed all the issues in favor of peoples. Thanks.