Smithfield must back down, make deal

As a result of what the town of Smithfield characterizes as a 17-year dispute over Bryant University’s tax-exempt status, legislation was passed by the General Assembly in the just-concluded session requiring the school to negotiate increased cash payments for town public-safety services by March or face taxation for those services. More

To continue reading this article, please do one of the following.



PBN Editorial

Smithfield must back down, make deal

Posted 7/15/13

As a result of what the town of Smithfield characterizes as a 17-year dispute over Bryant University’s tax-exempt status, legislation was passed by the General Assembly in the just-concluded session requiring the school to negotiate increased cash payments for town public-safety services by March or face taxation for those services.

One impression that this week’s Page 1 story on the topic leaves is that the town’s leaders are upset that Bryant President Ronald K. Machtley has not sat down in person to conclude long-running negotiations to update the school-town agreement. Really?

The town compares itself to Providence, which has reached agreements with its major universities within the last year to increase the payments in lieu of taxes the schools make to the city. But the comparison is not an apt one.

As has been reported often, 40 percent of Providence land is owned (and thus not taxed) by nonprofits. In Smithfield, Bryant owns 2 percent of the town’s land. In addition, Smithfield does not have the capital-intensive infrastructure and staffing needs of a city the size of Providence. And finally, the state already remits nearly $500,000 to the town as part of its payment-in-lieu of taxes program to make up for the money that an institution such as Bryant does not send to town coffers.

While Machtley last week was pushing for Gov. Lincoln D. Chafee to veto the legislation, the best long-term answer for this issue is for the town to back off its loaded-gun approach to negotiations and make a deal that improves the quality of life of its citizens – one that Bryant is willing to make – and stop trying to hurt one of its best residents. •

Calendar
PBN Hosted
Events

Join PBN and two panels of successful female executives, business owners and entrepreneurs as we delve into what women should do to advance their careers, and become leaders in the corporate world and their own enterprises.
  • Book of Lists Party
    Save the date - January 15, 2015 for PBN's Book of Lists Party at the Providence ...
  • Best Places to Work
    Enrollment is now open for the 7th annual Best Places to Work program. Winners w ...
Advertisement
Purchase Data
Book of Lists
Lists
Book of Lists cover
PBN's annual Book of Lists has been an essential resource for the local business community for almost 30 years. The Book of Lists features a wealth of company rankings from a variety of fields and industries, including banking, health care, real estate, law, hospitality, education, not-for-profits, technology and many more.
Data icons
Data can be purchased as single lists, in either Excel or PDF format; the entire database of the published book, in Excel format; or a printed copy of the Book of Lists.
  • Purchase an e-File of a single list
  •  
  • Purchase an e-File of the entire Book of Lists database
  •  
  • Purchase a printed copy of the Book of Lists
  •  
    National
    Local
    Latest News
    Advertisement