Fung’s Failures: Wasting Taxpayer Dollars, Losing Jobs in Cranston
Today, Governor Gina Raimondo cut the ribbon to open the new Citizens Bank campus in Johnston, RI replacing its predecessor in Cranston. 3,000 jobs, 123 acres, and new infrastructure are already bringing massive benefits to Johnston’s residents. This development highlights a major contrast between Raimondo and Cranston Mayor Allan Fung.
When it comes to economic development, Fung’s record in Cranston has been one of failure. Fung’s long history of “poor leadership” has left schools underfunded, raised taxes on Cranston residents, and squeezed businesses out of the area. Nothing is more emblematic of Fung’s incompetence than his pursuit of the infamous 38 Studios that stole tens of millions of taxpayer money from the state.
“Mayor Fung doesn’t have to stay silent on his economic plan for Rhode Islanders to know how dangerous it is,” said Democratic Governors Association Press Secretary Melissa Miller. “Fung as governor would double down on his disastrous policies in Cranston–higher taxes, shady deals, and driving away good-paying jobs. The contrast couldn’t be clearer. Governor Raimondo is cutting ribbons opening Rhode Island for business while Fung is cutting jobs from Cranston.”
Here’s more of a look at Fung’s failed economic record:
Fung’s Proposed Budget Included A 2.1% Tax Increase To Pay For “Investments” Across Cranston. The Cranston Herald reported, “Cranston Mayor Allan W. Fung presented his proposed 2017-18 budget to the City Council Friday night, saying that the next fiscal year would focus on ‘investments’ across Cranston. Fung proposed a 2.1 percent tax rate increase to help fund the additional contributions to education and infrastructure, among numerous other initiatives to come.” [Cranston Herald, 5/5/17]
In 2016, Cranston Residents Were The Eighth Highest Taxed Residents Of Any Locality In Rhode Island. GoLocalProv reported, “GoLocalProv has ranked communities from the least to the highest taxed on the basis of their tax rates, using data from the state Division of Municipal Finance. #8 Cranston. Taxes for median single family home: $4,878.38, Taxes for 2010 Honda Accord: $560.20, Total: $5,438.58, Median Household Income: $58,684, Total taxes as a percent of median income: 9.2%” [GoLocalProv, 4/4/16]
Two Cranston Tax Incentives Proposed and Adopted Under Mayor Fung Didn’t Include Employment Requirements – Putting Taxpayer Dollars at Risk. The Providence Journal reported, “The city has adopted a financial incentive program for large commercial and industrial projects that could be an attraction for Citizens Financial Group in its planned consolidation at a corporate campus. […] The program is more flexible than the city’s existing incentives for commercial and/or industrial property in that there is no specific requirement for employment in the new or renovated building or buildings.” [The Providence Journal, 12/6/15]
Fung Courted 38 Studios. NBC10 Reported, “A timeline reported by the NBC 10 I-Team showed Schilling was secretly being courted by politicians in late 2009, early 2010 with the prospect of hundreds of good paying jobs. […] Fung purportedly was also on that list. […] The email is dated April 2010 from Curt Schilling’s publicist Leighton Communications and sent to 38 Studios board member Thomas Zaccagnino. In it, Katie Leighton writes, ‘City of Cranston Mayor Alan Fung (sic) – he’d like to meet with Curt to discuss moving his gaming company to Cranston, RI. He would discuss all available incentives.’” [Turn to 10, 10/29/14]