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If you believe your assessment does not represent fair market value, you may appeal to the Assessor's Office and/or the Board of Tax Appeals by completing the Appeals Form. Appeal forms and a brief description of the appeal process can be found on the Appeals page. Both pages of the Appeals Form must be completed and returned to the Assessor's Office within 90 days of the first payment due date (RI Gen. Laws 44-5-26). Taxes must be paid in accordance with the original billing schedule until the matter is resolved.
Real Estate is first assessed at its market value on December 31st, but is subject to review and adjustment during the calendar year when substantial construction or demolition has occurred. Assessments may also increase or decrease when sales of similar properties indicate an inequity in a class or neighborhood.
Motor Vehicles are assessed at the book value which is researched and determined by the Rhode Island Vehicle Value Commission. Values are determined as of December 31st and taxes are pro rated for the number of days during the previous calendar year that the vehicle had an active Rhode Island Registration.
Disposition of the vehicle has no bearing on the tax. The plates must be returned to DMV and the registration canceled, or the vehicle will be taxed until the registration expires. Appeals of motor vehicle assessments must be made within 30 days of the mailing of the bill (RI Gen. Laws 44-34-8).
Tangible Personal Property is also assessed annually at fair market value as of December 31st. It is divided into two parts: Furniture, Fixtures, and Equipment are taxed at the commercial rate; Retail Inventory is taxed at a different retail inventory rate. Tangible Personal Property assessments are appealed using the same appeals form found on the forms page.
New businesses must file with the Assessor's Office; identifying ownership and mailing addresses. They must also declare the value of their Furniture, Fixtures and Equipment as well as their Inventory. New business owners should register with the City Clerk and file a new business form with the Assessor's Office.
Personal Exemptions: The City and State offer a number of personal exemptions.
Veterans and Widows of Veterans, having served during dates and conflicts identified in state and local law, may be eligible for an $21,400 exemption. Requirements are outlined on the Veterans Form on the Forms page. Applications must be made by March 15th in order to receive this exemption on the July bill.
Senior Citizens with total household income not exceeding $29,080 (single) or $38,027 (couple) may be eligible for a 20% reduction in their taxes. Additional requirements are found on the form available on the form page (there are two pages to this form). Application must be made in the month of January in order to receive this exemption on the July bill.
Additionally, there are exemptions for 100% disabled (VA Certified), Gold Star Parents, and the Blind. Tax payers should apply in person for these exemptions.
Active Military Personnel: The Soldiers and Sailors Civil Relief Act exempts all active duty military personnel (who are not residents of the state in which they are serving) from motor vehicle taxation. This exemption applies only to the period of time a military person is stationed, under orders, in a state that is not their legal home of record.
As such, this exemption does not apply to Rhode Island residents or dependents of military personnel.
The qualified applicant must provide copies of orders identifying the time period the exemption would cover and Leave & Earnings Statement (LES) identifying the legal home of record of the applicant. These documents are for review purposes only. We do not retain them.
It is important to note that this exemption does not apply to leased vehicles.