Rhode Island Property Taxes
Overview of Rhode Island Property Taxes
As is the case with most other states in the country, property taxes in Rhode Island are locally administered. Rhode Island property taxes are a major source of revenue for local governments and pay for local government services like law enforcement, infrastructure, schools, and parks among others. Cities and towns in the state are allowed to set their own due dates and property assessment systems under state guidelines.
The state and its local governments collect $11 billion in total revenue every year. Of that, $2.5 billion or 22.62% of total revenue comes from property taxes. Generally speaking, Rhode Island is a high tax state as indicated by the higher percentage of property taxes compared to total revenue collected. The average homeowner pays $14.78 for every $1,000 of home value in property taxes. The average Rhode Island property tax bill adds up to $4,319, making the state one of the most expensive for homeowners.
How do Rhode Island property taxes work? Property taxes are based on your property's "market value", or the amount the property would sell for in the open market. The state requires cities and towns to assess property once every nine years and update the assessed values on the third and sixth year. This ensures properties that have been recently sold or altered are fairly assessed. This means that the assessed value is the same as the market value, apart from Block Island where properties are assessed at 80% of their market value. Tax rates are then applied to the assessed value to calculate your annual Rhode Island property tax bill.
Rhode Island property tax rates are set by cities and towns depending on the budget they require to provide their mandated services. The rates are expressed in dollars per $1,000 of assessed value. If your property is located in a city/town with a rate of $20, you would pay $20 for every $1000 of assessed value in property taxes. Assuming your home has an assessed value of $100,000, using the aforementioned tax rate, your Rhode Island property tax bill would add up to ($20/$1000 x $100,000) $2,000.
If you are planning to buy a home in Rhode Island and want to understand how much your property tax bill could potentially cost, check out our Rhode Island Property Tax Tool to see what your bill would be.
Rhode Island Property Tax Due Dates
As mentioned above, properties in Rhode Island are assessed once in nine years. Homeowners have 90 days from when the first payment is due to appeal property taxes if they disagree with the assessor's valuation of their property. But when are property taxes due in Rhode Island?
Rhode Island property tax due dates are a little complicated since every town and city can set their own due dates. For instance, in the City of Providence, the tax year runs from July 1-June 30. Tax bills are mailed to homeowners once a year in June after the tax rates are set. You must pay your Rhode Island property taxes even if you didn't receive a tax bill. Taxes are payable in four installments due on July 24, October 24, January 24, and April 24. The city has an email reminder that alerts you 7-10 days before a quarter is due.
One common theme is homeowners are allowed to pay their Rhode Island property taxes in four installments. In the town of Burrillville, property taxes are due on September 29, December 15, March 2, and May 18. In South Kingstown, property tax bills are mailed to homeowners once a year in July with property taxes payable in four quarters due on August 1, November 1, February 1, and May 1. In Woonsocket, the due dates fall on August 3, October 15, January 15, and April 15.
Another common theme is penalties and interest are charged on delinquent Rhode Island property taxes. The percentage of penalties/interest charged varies across the various cities and towns. In Woonsocket, interest is computed at 10% per annum. In the city of Providence, interest is charged at 1% per month from July of the fiscal year. This means the interest in August is 2%, September is 3%, and so on.
Rhode Island Property Tax Exemptions
Just like different towns and cities in the state of Rhode Island have their own property tax due dates, the exemptions offered across the state also differ depending on the county. The most common are homestead and senior exemptions. However, exemptions are not available in all municipalities. For example, the City of Providence does not offer a homestead exemption. Homeowners must still comply with Rhode Island property tax due dates as set by individual cities/towns regardless of eligibility.
Rhode Island Homestead Exemption
Rhode Island's homestead exemption protects struggling homeowners from losing their principal residences in case of bankruptcy. Under the homestead protection laws, the state protects up to $500,000 of your home's equity against seizure by creditors. The state also offers another "wildcard" exemption that protects up to $6,500 worth of assets. However, this exemption has no bearing on the accrual of Rhode Island property taxes. Contact your local tax assessor's office for more details regarding the homestead exemption.
Rhode Island Senior Citizens Exemption
Rhode Island's senior exemption exempts a certain amount of your property's assessed value from Rhode Island property taxes. Eligibility requirements and the exact amounts exempted vary with location. For instance, in the City of Warwick, eligible seniors get a $415.20 deduction from their tax bill. Elderly homeowners in the City of Providence benefit from a maximum of $511.00. To qualify, homeowners must be aged at least 65 years. More details on eligibility, application, and amount exempted can be obtained from your local Tax Assessor.
Other Rhode Island property tax exemptions include the veterans' exemption. Under this provision, the property of a veteran who served in the armed forces and was honorably discharged is exempted from taxation for an amount of up to $1000. Again, the exact amount exempted varies with the location of the veteran's property. For instance, in North Kingstown, the amount exempted is $10,000 while in Cumberland town, the exemption can be as high as $22,500.
How to Appeal Your Property Taxes in Rhode Island
The state of Rhode Island allows you to appeal property taxes if you feel your property's valuation is not a true reflection of its market value. If successful, a property tax appeal can lower your Rhode Island property taxes. Appeals start with the local Tax Assessor and must be filed within 90 days from the date the first tax payment is due. If unsatisfied with the tax assessor's decision, you can appeal to the local Board of Tax Assessment Review (BTAR) within 30 days of the Tax Assessor rendering their decision. Decisions by BTAR can be appealed to the Superior Court within 30 days of the tax review board's decision.
The process of filing an assessment appeal varies across Rhode Island though it generally follows the same steps from county to county:
- Obtain your assessment
- Determine if you are overassessed
- Complete forms needed to appeal
- File property tax appeal
- Prepare for hearing
- Attend hearing
- Appeal the decision
How to Appeal Your Property Taxes in Providence County
For a better understanding of how to appeal your property taxes in Rhode Island, the following is a breakdown of the process in Providence County, the most populous county in Rhode Island.
Obtain your assessment
Details of your property's assessment can be obtained from your tax bill. Alternatively, you can consult your local tax assessor for the same.
Determine if you are over-assessed
The best way to determine if the value placed on its property is a fair reflection of its market value is by checking out the appraisal details of similar units within your locality. TaxProper's search tool can help you conduct that search and compare those values to your property's appraised value.
Complete forms needed to appeal
The forms you need to appeal your property taxes will be provided to you at the Tax Assessor's Office.
File property tax appeal
For an appeal to the Tax Assessor, the appeal must be filed with the local Office of Tax Assessment within 90 days from the day your first tax installment is due. If you wish to appeal to the local tax board of review, the appeal must be filed with the local tax board of review not more than 30 days after the assessor renders a decision.
Prepare for hearing
Preparation for an appeal hearing means collecting evidence showing your property was overvalued. This can include but is not limited to a recent appraisal report, comparable sales, and photographs of your property.
The Board of Tax Assessment Review in Providence requires you to attend a property appeal hearing to present the data you have gathered supporting your opinion of value. You also have to be ready for the tax assessor's counterargument.
Appeal the decision
Decisions by the Board of Tax Assessment Review can be appealed to the Superior Court, Providence County within 30 days of the local board rendering their decision.
Property Tax Information for Rhode Island Counties
The table below provides county-level information about how property taxes work in each Rhode Island county.
Want to learn more? Click the county links to learn more about a specific Rhode Island county.