Chariho Taxpayer Group Calls Foul on Union Backed Group Ahead of Key School Budget Vote

On Tuesday, April 4, Chariho residents will vote whether or not to approve a proposed $64.5 million budget for that regional school district, in a special referendum.

As is often the case, the school budget vote pits union and school system backed groups who want to spend more … against taxpayer groups who seek to control spending.

According to one taxpayer group, The Forgotten Taxpayers’ PAC, another group, Friends of Chariho For The Future, has been illegally collecting donations in support of significantly budget increases.

Per The Forgotten Taxpayers’ PAC press release, their organization last week “published a press release citing possible campaign violations by the Friends of Chariho For the Future.  In a stunning admission of guilt, this organization immediately removed any reference or request for tax deductible donations from their public Facebook page.

The Forgotten Taxpayers’ PAC’s suspicions were not validated by luck, but an understanding of the Friends of Chariho For the Future’s past indiscretions, which are indicative of the tax and spend cheerleaders in our town and state.  

As mentioned in our prior press release, this organization, which is seeking to pass a $64,506,003 budget and place undue burden on struggling families in one of the worst economies in the country, was originally incorporated with the State of Rhode Island Secretary of State’s office in March of 2017.  The now defunct “Friends of Chariho” group’s history underscores the organization’s complete disregard for the Chariho taxpayer.

This originally incorporated organization failed to file annual reports with the Rhode Island Secretary of State’s office each year from 2018 to 2022, and as of today, still owes the State of Rhode Island in the form of filing fines for those annual reports.  

As a result, the Friends of Chariho had their legal status revoked by the Rhode Island Secretary of State’s office.   After that status revocation, they reorganized and filed as “Friends of Chariho for the Future” in February 2023, allowing them to default on their responsibility to the taxpayers and continue their anti-taxpayer crusade unabated by their responsibility to operate legally.

This repeated lack of integrity and disregard for our town’s taxpayers is at the core of the pro-union, anti-taxpayer sentiment poisoning Rhode Island.   The Forgotten Taxpayers PAC says, “NO MORE.”

The Forgotten Taxpayers’ PAC would like to take this opportunity to also remind the citizens of Chariho that this is the same group that is currently seeking to upend the legitimate seating of Clay Johnson on the Chariho school committee.   We ask the taxpayers of Chariho, will you place our town in the hands of people with such little regard for the rules?

The Forgotten Taxpayers PAC is asking the Friends of Chariho for the Future to publicly report the amount of total donations received and to return those donations immediately.   Louise Dinsmore, speaking on behalf of Forgotten Taxpayers stated;

This organization is fundraising under false pretenses to get their enormous budget passed. Not only has the Friends of Chariho for the Future had to reorganize as a result of failing to file annual reports with the Secretary of State’s office, the more concerning issue here, as far as my research shows, is they have failed to file for federal tax exemption status with the Internal Revenue Service.   The Friends of Chariho for the Future is not a 501(c)(3) charitable organization with a federal designation, as such it is unlawful to claim that they can accept tax-deductible contributions.   We call on this organization to present their federal charitable tax identification number and if no such federal tax identification number exists, to forfeit these donations immediately ”.

Dinsmore added;

If the Friends of Chariho intend to utilize those donations – donations which were generated under false pretenses – to pay for a mass mailing, signs, or ANY get-out-the-vote efforts seeking to influence local voters on the outcome of the April 4 th budget vote, that would be quite concerning.  Do they think federal rules don’t apply to them?  Apparently, they do, as this organization has sought to utilize every tool in their toolbox to overturn Clay Johnson’s recent School Committee appointment.””

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