Cup o'(Pro) Jo: March 21, 2011

Rhode Islanders left $99 million in unclaimed college-related tax breaks up for grabs last year. According to the U.S. Treasury Department, only 35.7 percent of eligible Rhode Island families laid claim to the break, called the American Opportunity Tax Credit, which provides a credit of up to $2500 a year to middle-class families for the first four years of undergraduate studies. The 51,000 who qualify still have time to cash in on the refund. Don’t forget, this rebate is a nationwide deal!

Providence’s bond rating — an evaluation of the credit worthiness of debt issued by the government — has been knocked down two slots, from A to AA- by the independent national rating service, Fitch Rating. Citing the city’s looming $180 million budget deficit, Fitch also brought up concerns about Providence’s ability to generate enough money flow to support current city operations.  This announcement follows closely on the heels of Moody’s Investors Service’s decision to downgrade Providence from an A1 to an A3 rating.

Dear weather,

In case you forgot, today is the vernal equinox. Not April Fool’s day — that’s actually eleven whole days away. We were doing so well…what happened? Oh, and Projo, retract your cheery statement, “on this first full day of spring, snow is in the forecast,” and we’ll consider forgiving you. Half an inch before 3 p.m., followed by rain, never gets the week off to a good start.

love,

Brown

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