Let’s be clear, if anyone deserves a tax-break, it’s the working people in our community,” said David Morales, Democratic candidate for Rhode Island State Representative District 7. “We need to end the culture of special deals and favors for politically connected people and organizations.


During the first week of the 2020 legislative session, Representative Daniel McKiernan (District 7) introduced H7081. If passed, this bill would exempt La Salle Academy, a private high school in the Elmhurst neighborhood, from taxation. This would also exempt any land the school purchases in the future. Founded in 1871, La Salle Academy has a student population of 1,560 with an annual tuition of over $15,000.

David Morales, Democratic candidate for Rhode Island State Representative District 7, stands against this bill.

“I firmly believe all wealthy non-profits in our state should pay their fair share of taxes,” writes Morales in a press release. “That includes Brown University, Providence College, Rhode Island School of Design, and La Salle Academy. I am disappointed Representative McKiernan would introduce a bill that gives a special tax deal to an institution that does not need it. He previously campaigned on taxing wealthy non-profits because of all the land they occupy across the state, particularly, in Providence. Yet here he is doing the exact opposite of what he promised.

“Instead of providing tax-exemptions to a wealthy private school, occupying 26 acres of highly desirable land, we should be creating policies that invest in our community. Our people deserve affordable housing options, good-paying jobs, and quality public schools. Let’s be clear, if anyone deserves a tax-break, it’s the working people in our community. We need to end the culture of special deals and favors for politically connected people and organizations,” continued Morales. “I understand La Salle Academy is in my district, however, fair tax laws should still apply, and I am confident my neighbors agree.”

In recent years, property taxes in the Elmhurst neighborhood have increased, affecting middle class families. If La Salle Academy becomes tax exempt, it will further exacerbate state and city income tax deficits, leaving property tax increases as the only way to recover this lost tax revenue. A central policy of David Morales’ campaign is the need to repeal Rhode Island’s tax cuts for the rich and make wealthy non-profits pay their fair share, in order to increase investment in our communities and create a fair economy.

[From a press release]