On May 3, the House of Representatives approved legislation that would allow the Town of Coventry to establish a tax amnesty program for the new fiscal year, which begins in July.
Sponsored by Rep. Scott J. Guthrie (D-Dist. 28, Coventry) at the request of the Town Council, the legislation,(2012-H7979), .
With House approval, the bill now goes to the Senate for consideration. An identical Senate bill,(2012-S2836), introduced by Sen. Nicholas D. Kettle (R-Dist. 21, Coventry, Foster, Scituate), is currently before the Senate Committee on Finance.
The legislation gives the Town Council authority to establish the program for the 2013 Fiscal Year, which begins in July, applying the 45-day amnesty period to tangible property taxes and motor vehicle taxes for residents who have owned their property or vehicle for at least five years. Individuals seeking to take advantage of the amnesty period would need to present a waiver request at any time during the 45-day period.
"The Coventry residents that I know are good and honorable people who will pay what they owe but who sometimes, especially in economic times like these, need a little breathing room," said Representative Guthrie. "At times like these we need to be helping our residents rather than putting more economic pressure on them and I think we can give taxpayers a little bit of extra time to meet their obligations without serious financial harm to town government."
Co-sponsors of the bill include other members of the Coventry House delegation, including Rep. Patricia A. Serpa (D-Dist. 27, West Warwick, Warwick, Coventry), Rep. Lisa P. Tomasso (D-Dist. 29, Coventry, West Greenwich) and Rep. Michael W. Chippendale (R-Dist. 40, Coventry, Foster, Scituate).