Sequino Agrees With Carcieri: Olney House Should Not Be On Tax Roll
The building next to Academy Field is owned by the Academy Science Center, a nonprofit corporation established by the Carcieris in 1999.
Let's try this again. The Olney House building next to Academy Field on Church Street is owned by the Academy Science Center, a nonprofit established by former Governor Donald and Suzanne Carcieri in 1999. And it sits on town-owned land. Thus, both Gov. Carcieri and Town Manager Bill Sequino now agree it should not be on the tax roll.
The building was placed on the East Greenwich tax roll in 2011, after tax assessor Janice Peixieno noticed the center had lost its 501-C3 status.
While admitting that in hindsight such an action was perhaps not necessary, Sequino defended Peixieno.
"I think Janice is doing exactly what she’s supposed to be doing as a tax assessor, but from a practical point of view it shouldn't be on the tax roll," Sequino said. "I told her to take it off tax sale because it’s on town property."
Of the decision to send the notice, he said, "If anything else, it was a nudge to get them to get going again."
Sequino was referring to the Carcieris' stated intention to open a science center for elementary-age children.
"We've spent over $250,000 on the building" since 1999, he said recently. "All of the money we've put in has been out of our own pockets."
He said the building was never meant to be on the tax roll, as was stipulated in the General Assembly bill passed in July 2000 establishing the nonprofit. Initially, the science center had a 501-C3 but after years of inaction (specifically the years Carcieri was governor), the center lost that status. Carcieri said they were working on re-establishing it so they could begin to raise money.
"Admittedly, it's taking longer than we wanted," he said. The couple is in Florida until early April, at which time he is offering to show the building to reporters.