Attention landlords and renters! The recent tax hike on non-owner occupied rental property affects the property owners and their tenants alike. It is well to remember that not many landlords around here are evil absentee tycoons — many are small investors. One such property owner has just contacted us here. Artist Peter Gemei has this to say,
This evening at 5:30pm at City Hall there will be a rally in response to recently received property tax bills. “Is it worth it to keep property in Providence?”, I asked myself as I saw my property tax soar from under $6000 last year up to over $10,000 for this year. (I have a mortgage on a 3-apartment house at Fox Point on Ives Street and am a self-employed artist who works on projects in the garage located on this property. At present, the rents don’t cover all the expenses and I’m struggling). I searched online to find where the outraged could be found and discovered that they are rapidly growing at Fixprov.com, The Providence Apartment Association. Last night I attended an open meeting at Abe’s Pub on Wickenden Street and got informed. Last week there were 30 members, now there are 200 and growing. I spoke to many property owners like myself who struggle to maintain property on the East Side, slashing rents to convince prospective tenants to submit an application, paying taxes and insurance from dwindling savings, and paying a mortgage to keep a step ahead of foreclosure.
Many of us are not making any profit from our investment in this city but thought to hold on in expectation of a positive outcome in the future. East Side property owners have been unfairly targeted with the perception that we are all very wealthy and therefore immune to financial hardship. Landlords are expected to afford these almost doubled tax hikes. What’s the point in investing in Providence?
And there is nothing to say a person can’t make a profit on investment property (it is predatory, unregulated capitalism that bugs us here). At any rate, what affects these landlords will soon come down on the head of the renters. Our interests are aligned on this issue. So head down to the rally on the steps of the City Hall, and then head inside to the scheduled council meeting and make your voice heard. This is no way to fix the city.
5:30pm, Thursday, Rally in front of City Hall/ 6:30pm City Council Meeting/Providence Apartment Assn.