Jane G. Linden, a veterinarian who owns the Providence River Animal Hospital, loves the city where she lives and works.
She’s proven her dedication by renovating a dilapidated shop in Providence’s former Jewelry District into a modern animal hospital – and by the number of charitable events she regularly sponsors to help the indigent and their pets.
And although the New Jersey native and Brown University graduate says she can’t imagine leaving the state capital, she cannot help but toy with the idea. “Providence is a great city,” she said, “except for taxes.”
Her property tax bill for the animal hospital on Point Street increased by $5,000 in 2010. This is only for her business; she pays taxes on her residence in the city as well.
“It is a terrible situation for property owners and businesses,” she said. “I don’t understand how the state thinks it can foster business by having the small businesses – the little, puny businesses – bear the entire burden” while larger corporations take advantage of tax credits and loopholes not available to smaller enterprises.
In the last few years, her business has sponsored open houses to raise money for charitable animal causes, including the Companion Animal Foundation – a Rhode Island Veterinary Medical Association program that provides funds for animal care to people who cannot afford it otherwise. Linden took over the association’s presidency and has a strong interest in continuing to help the indigent.
Twice a year she visits schools in the city, usually in South Providence, with her two dogs, Raisin and Lily, to help educate children about the joys and responsibilities of having pets. “Some of these kids have never touched a dog before,” she said.