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Cranston seeks cash from JWU

February 23, 2012

Johnson and Wales University has agreed to increase cash payments to Providence, and now Cranston wants money too.

Although the city is not facing a deficit like Providence, city officials have been in talks with Johnson and Wales for roughly six months.

Cranston Mayor Allan Fung says it seems fair to ask tax-exempt institutions like Johnson and Wales to contribute to city finances.

“This is something that for me has been a priority,” Mayor Fung said. “Even though it’s a small part of our city, it’s still a part that we provide services too.”

Johnson and Wales owns 22 acres of land in Cranston, mostly in the waterfront area near Edgewood. City officials say the property would generate more than $800,000 annually in property taxes if the university did not have tax-exempt status.

Johnson and Wales declined to discuss details about what dollar amount they might consider. The university says the talks have been “productive.”

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