Tax Assessor FAQ

Exemptions · Property Assessment & Taxation · Appeals

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Exemptions

Q. Who qualifies for a Veteran Exemption?
A. Any person who served during the qualifying dates, that owns Real Estate, Motor Vehicle, or a business. If you have more then one option to apply this exemption you will have to apply it to your real estate bill first.

Q. How do I apply for a Veteran Exemption or Widow of a Veteran Exemption?
A. You must first check your dates of service with the guidelines listed. You then should bring your DD214, (shows the date of entry & date of discharge) to the Town Clerks Office. They will record this document free of charge. Once you complete that bring the document to the Tax Assessor’s Office.

  • If you are the widow of a veteran follow the same procedure, but also bring your spouses death certificate to the Tax Assessor’s Office. 

Q. What is a Homestead Exemption?
A. If you own residential real estate, and reside at the property you are entitled to 20% off your 100% assessment.

  • If you own a combination property. (Ex. Store on the first level, apartment on the second) you qualify for a 10% off your 100% assessment.

Q. My family resides in my property, but I am the owner. Am I entitled to the Homestead Exemption or can my family member apply?
A. No. The only person who is eligible for this exemption must have a deeded interest in the property.
In most cases people choose to give the family member a “Life Estate” in the property so that they may get the benefit of this exemption. Please consult your attorney to see if this option is right for you.

Q. How do I apply for a Homestead Exemption?
A. If you recently purchased the property, an application will be mailed to you automatically upon the processing of your deed. Please be patient you will receive one. If for some reason you have not received an application by December 31st of the year you purchased your property, contact the Tax Assessor’s office immediately.

  • If you owned the property for some time, but have not been receiving the exemption (check your current bill for the code HOMEST) call our office, and we will mail one to you. 

Q. Who qualifies for a Senior Exemption?
A. Anyone who turns 65, that owns and resides in the town.

Q. How do I apply for my Senior Exemption?
A. When you turn 65 bring your license, birth certificate, or identification card to the Tax Assessors office.

Q. How do I apply for a low-income exemption/variable exemption?
A. Download the application. Follow each step, and fill out every question. Make sure you attach proof of all documentation listed on the application. You can then drop it off to the Tax Assessor’s office no later then April 15th.

Q. How do I know if I qualify for a legally Blind Exemption, and how do I apply?
A. If your central visual acuity is 20/200 or less in the better eye, with corrective glasses, or central visual acuity of more than 20/200 but there is a field defect in which the peripheral field has contracted to such an extent that the widest diameter of visual field subtends in angular distance no greater the 20 degrees. (R.I.G.L. 44-3-25)

  • To apply you will need your ophthalmologist to write a letter to the Tax Assessor’s Office stating that your are legally blind and it must also state your visual acuity. 

Q. How do I apply for an Interstate Trucking Exemption?
A. Download the exemption application, complete the form, and return it to the Tax Assessor’s Office by December 31st.

Property Assessment & Taxation

Q. How is my property assessment calculated?
A. Your property assessment is derived by the current market values in your area, which is established during a revaluation year.

Q. How is my tax bill calculated?
A. Your bill is calculated on the 100% assessed value, multiplied by the tax rate set by the Town Council, and our Mayor. If you have qualified for any of our listed exemptions, the amount of that exemption will be deducted from your 100% value.

Q. How is my Motor Vehicle Excise tax bill calculated?
A. The Vehicle Value Commission places the value on every vehicle registered. We then prorate for the number of days the vehicle was registered during the previous calendar year. Also, prorated is the amount of your state phase-out exemption. If you have qualified for any other personal exemptions, that amount will be deducted before the phase-out exemption is applied.

Q. How do I stop my Motor Vehicle tax?
A. You must return your RI license plates to the RI DMV, within 10 days of moving, or disposing of your vehicle. Taxation stops only when the RI DMV cancels your registration. Please remember that motor vehicles are billed a year behind. (see link to DMV web site) We recommend physically returning your plates, so that you can obtain a TR3/cancellation of registration receipt.

Q. What are Tangible Taxes?
A. Tangible taxes are assessed on the physical assets and inventory of businesses. The Assessor’s Office must be notified in writing whenever a business is closed, sold, or renamed, in order to ensure that the tax bill is accurate. Please include the nature of the transaction, the date it went through and the current name and address of the company (if applicable). For any questions, call or visit the office of the Tax Assessor.

Q. How is my Tangible Tax calculated?
A. Your tangible taxes are assessed based upon what you have reported to our office. Every November we send each an every business an “ Annual Business Return” so that we can accurately assess your assets. If this return is not filed by January 31st , and you have not requested an extension date of March 15th , you forfeit your right to an appeal, and your assessment is subject to an increase.

Appeals

Q. Can I appeal my motor vehicle assessment?
A. Yes, please download the Motor Vehicle Tax Appeal Application and return it to the Tax Assessor’s Office. According to RI General Law, the appeal deadline is 30 days from the mailing of your motor vehicle tax bill.

Q. Can I appeal my real estate/tangible assessment?
A. Yes, your first step is to download the Real Estate/Tangible Tax Appeal Form. According to RI General Law, you have 90 days from the due date on your bill to appeal (August 31st).

We will determine and assess all valuations on the ratable real estate and tangible personal property as of 12 o’clock midnight on the 31st day of December.



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