Liz Burke, WPRO News
Delinquent tax payers in Woonsocket will have the money they owe deducted from their state refund checks this year because of a new program. Woonsocket Mayor Leo Fontaine spoke to Gene Valicenti on the “WPRO News with Gene Valicenti” about this new program.
“So far it has worked out pretty wonderfully. It’s a great avenue for us to be able to reach some of those people who have been avoiding their payments for quite some time,” says Mayor Fontaine.
The program called “refund offset” will help the city gain back the $15 million in uncollected taxes. But not all the residents are thrilled about it. According to Channel 10, letters went out to the delinquent tax payers telling them how the program would work.
“There’s been a lot of people who are not happy and, quite honestly, we’re not happy to be in the position of having to do this but obviously with all the problems that we’re all facing it comes down to a point that we need to try to find every avenue we can to collect on these taxes that people just have been avoiding for a while,” says Mayor Fontaine.
The program started in East Providence last year and now, this year, Woonsocket is getting a test drive.
“This is something the State Division of Taxation has been working on for some time and they’re looking to be able to roll this out for all communities to be able to use and it’s just that East Providence and Woonsocket are the two that are currently under budget commission and they’re using it as an opportunity to try out the program,” says Mayor Fontaine.