Labor & Business

Providence Finance Committee to take up lucrative Buff Chace tax giveaways on Thursday

Providence Mayor Jorge Elorza and City Solicitor Jeffrey Dana never sat down for the interview the mayor promised Uprise RI after previous reporting on this subject.

September 21, 2022, 2:02 pm

By Steve Ahlquist

Around 40 minutes after Uprise RI published this piece, at 2:02pm, the Providence Finance Committee scheduled for 5:30pm on the third floor of the Providence City Council on Thursday, September 22 was cancelled without explanation. Coincidence?

Here’s the piece:

Mixed in with a ton of other financial agreements between the City of Providence and various real estate owners and developers to be reviewed and presumably passed by the Providence Finance Committee Thursday evening is a blink an you’ll miss it portion resulting from a financial boon gifted to developer Buff Chace from both outgoing Mayor Jorge Elorza and City Council Leadership, including outgoing City Council President John Igliozzi (Ward 7).

Uprise RI wrote about this back in May, and has been denied a promised interview with Mayor Elorza and City Solicitor Jeffrey Dana, who orchestrated the deal.

Tomorrow night the Finance Committee is expected to advance an agreement between Arnold “Buff” Chace and the city allowing Chace to give up his very lucrative tax stabilization agreements and enter into “8-Law” agreements. The deal, by some estimations, will cost the city millions in lost revenue. See more here: As taxes rise, Elorza Administration gives huge tax break to one of the richest property owners in PVD

Of the ten properties that Uprise RI was able to determine are covered by this very secret backroom deal, at least five are on the docket for Thursday evening.

The Providence Finance Committee that was to meet at 5:30pm on the third floor of the Providence City Council on Thursday, September 22 has been cancelled.

8-Law, or 8%-Law, is relatively obscure, because unlike TSAs, these were never intended to stimulate development or reward connected businesspeople. Instead, as described in Rhode Island General Laws § 44-5-13.11, 8-Law is intended to develop and maintain affordable housing. The law reads:

Any residential property that has been issued an occupancy permit on or after January 1, 1995, after substantial rehabilitation as defined by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development and is encumbered by a covenant recorded in the land records in favor of a governmental unit or Rhode Island housing and mortgage finance corporation restricting either or both the rents that may be charged to tenants of the property or the incomes of the occupants of the property, is subject to a tax that equals 8% of the property’s previous years’ gross scheduled rental income or a lesser percentage as determined by each municipality.”