2019-04-23: Committee recommended Substitute A be held for further study
2019-06-07: Scheduled for hearing and/or consideration (06/13/2019)
2019-06-12: Proposed Substitute
2019-06-13: Committee recommended Substitute A be held for further study
2019-06-13: Committee recommended measure be held for further study
2019-06-14: Committee recommended Substitute A be held for further study
Changes since original draft
2019 – S 0080
S TATE OF RHODE IS L AND
IN GENERAL ASSEMBLY
JANUARY SESSION, A.D. 2019
A N A C T
RELATING TO TAXATION - LEVY AND ASSESSMENT OF LOCAL TAXES
Introduced By: Senators Seveney, DiPalma, Coyne, Valverde, and Euer
Date Introduced: January 16, 2019
Referred To: Senate Judiciary
It is enacted by the GeneralAssembly as follows:
SECTION 1. Sections 44-5-1, 44-5-12, 44-5-13, 44-5-26 and 44-5-30 of the General Laws in Chapter 44-5 entitled "Levy and Assessment of Local Taxes" are hereby amended to read as follows:
44-5-1. Powers ofcityor town electors to levy – Date of assessment of valuations.
The electors of any city or town qualified to vote on any proposition to impose a tax or for the expenditure of money, when legally assembled, may levy a tax for the purposes authorized by law, on the ratable property of the city or town, either in a sum certain, or in a sum not less than a certain sum and not more than a certain sum. The tax is apportioned upon the assessed valuations pursuant to § 44-5-12 as determined by the assessors of the city or town as of December 31 in each year at 12:00 A.M. midnight, the date being known as the date of assessment of city or town valuations.
44-5-12. Assessment at full and fair cash value. Assessment of value.
(a) All real property subject to taxation shall be assessed at its fulland fair cash value, or at a uniform percentage of its value, not to exceed either one hundred percent (100%), of its value as of December 31 in the year of the last update or revaluation or the current fair market value, whichever is greater; however, a taxable building damaged due to fire or naturaldisaster shallbe taxed at the current fair market value for all periods that the building is unavailable for its intended use to be determined by the assessors in each town or city; provided, that:
(1) Any residential property encumbered by a covenant recorded in the land records in favor of a governmental unit or Rhode Island housing and mortgage finance corporation restricting either or both the rents that may be charged or the incomes of the occupants shall be assessed and taxed in accordance with § 44-5-13.11;
(2) In assessing real estate that is classified as farm land, forest, or open space land in accordance with chapter 27 of this title, the assessors shallconsider no factors in determining the full and fair cash value of the real estate other than those that relate to that use without regard to neighborhood land use of a more intensive nature;
(3) Warwick. The city council of the city of Warwick is authorized to provide, by ordinance, that the owner of any dwelling of one to three (3) family units in the city of Warwick who makes any improvements or additions on his or her principal place of residence in the amount up to fifteen thousand dollars ($15,000), as may be determined by the tax assessor of the city of Warwick, is exempt from reassessment of property taxes on the improvement or addition until the next general citywide reevaluation of property values by the tax assessor. For the purposes of this section, "residence" is defined as voting address. This exemption does not apply to any commercial structure. The property owner shall supply all necessary plans to the building official for the improvements or addition and shall pay all requisite building and other permitting fees as now are required by law; and
(4) Central Falls. The city council of the city of Central Falls is authorized to provide, by ordinance, that the owner of any dwelling of one to eight (8) units who makes any improvements or additions to his or her residential or rental property in an amount not to exceed twenty-five thousand dollars ($25,000), as determined by the tax assessor of the city of Central Falls, is exempt from reassessment of property taxes on the improvement or addition untilthe next general citywide reevaluation of property values by the tax assessor. The property owner shall supply all necessary plans to the building official for the improvements or additions and shall pay all requisite building and other permitting fees as are now required by law.
(5) Tangible property shall be assessed according to the asset classification table as defined in § 44-5-12.1.
(6) Provided, however, that, for taxes levied after December 31, 2015, new construction on development property is exempt from the assessment of taxes under this chapter at the fulland fair cash value of the improvements, as long as:
(i) An owner of development property files an affidavit claiming the exemption with the local tax assessor by December 31 each year; and
(ii) The assessor shall then determine if the real property on which new construction is located is development property. If the real property is development property, the assessor shall
LC000110 - Page 2of 11 exempt the new construction located on that development property from the collection of taxes on improvements, until such time as the real property no longer qualifies as development property, as defined herein.
For the purposes of this section, "development property" means: (A) Real property on which a single-family residential dwelling or residential condominium is situated and said single- family residential dwelling or residential condominium unit is not occupied, has never been occupied, is not under contract, and is on the market for sale; or (B) Improvements and/or rehabilitation of single-family residential dwellings or residential condominiums that the owner of such development property purchased out of a foreclosure sale, auction, or from a bank, and which property is not occupied. Such property described in § 44-5-12(a)(6)(ii) shall continue to be taxed at the assessed value at the time of purchase until such time as such property is sold or occupied and no longer qualifies as development property. As to residential condominiums, this exemption shall not affect taxes on the common areas and facilities as set forth in § 34-36-27. In no circumstance shall such designation as development property extend beyond two (2) tax years and a qualification as a development property shall only apply to property that applies for, or receives, construction permits after July 1, 2015. Further, the exemptions set forth in this section shall not apply to land.
The exemptions set forth in this subsection (a)(6) for development property shall expire as of December 31, 2021.
(b) Municipalities shall make available to every land owner whose property is taxed under the provisions of this section a document that may be signed before a notary public containing language to the effect that they are aware of the additional taxes imposed by the provisions of § 44-5-39 in the event that they use land classified as farm, forest, or open space land for another purpose.
(c) Pursuant to the provisions of § 44-3-29.1, all wholesale and retailinventory subject to taxation is assessed at its full and fair cash value, or at a uniform percentage of its value, not to exceed one hundred percent (100%), for fiscalyear 1999, by the assessors in each town and city. Once the fiscal year 1999 value of the inventory has been assessed, this value shallnot increase. The phase-out rate schedule established in § 44-3-29.1(d) applies to this fixed value in each year of the phase out.
44-5-13. Assessment and apportionment according to law – Date of assessment.
The assessors shall assess all valuation and apportion any tax levy on the inhabitants of the city or town and the ratable property in the city or town according to law, and the assessed valuation of the ratable property is made as of the date of assessment provided in § 44-5-1 and
LC000110 - Page 3of 11 shall be in accordance with the provisions of § 44-5-12; except that personal property consisting of stocks in trade and materials used in manufacture, which include raw materials, fuel, goods in process of manufacture, and completed products, except those which are specifically exempt by statute, are estimated at the average of the personalty kept on hand or located in the taxing district during the twelve (12) months ending with the date of assessment, or the average of any portion of the twelve (12) months when the business has not been carried on or located in the taxing district for a year.
44-5-26. Petition in superior court for relief from assessment.
(a) Any person aggrieved on any ground whatsoever by any assessment of taxes against him or her in any city or town, or any tenant or group of tenants, of real estate paying rent therefrom, and under obligation to pay more than one-half of the taxes thereon, may within ninety (90) days from the date the first tax payment is due, file an appeal in the local office of tax assessment; provided, if the person to whom a tax on real estate is assessed chooses to file an appeal, the appeal filed by a tenant or group of tenants will be void. For the purposes of this section, the tenant(s) has the burden of proving financial responsibility to pay more than one-half (1/2) of the taxes. The assessor has forty-five (45) days to review the appeal, render a decision and notify the taxpayer of the decision. The taxpayer, if still aggrieved, may appeal the decision of the tax assessor to the local tax board of review, or in the event that the assessor does not render a decision, the taxpayer may appealto the localtax board of review at the expiration of the forty-five (45) day period. Appeals to the local tax board of review are to be filed not more than thirty (30) days after the assessor renders a decision and notifies the taxpayer, or if the assessor does not render a decision within forty-five (45) days of the filing of the appeal, not more than ninety (90) days after the expiration of the forty-five (45) day period. The local tax board of review shall, within ninety (90) days of the filing of the appeal, hear the appeal and render a decision within thirty (30) days of the date that the hearing was held. Provided, that a city or town may request and receive an extension from the director of the Rhode Island department of revenue.
(b) Appeals to the local office of tax assessment are to be on an application. In the event of an appeal to the local tax board of review, the local office of tax assessment, upon request by the taxpayer, shall forward the application to the local tax board of review. The application shall be in the following form:
STATE OF RHODE ISLAND FISCAL YEAR ________ ________________________
Name of City or Town
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APPLICATION FOR APPEAL OF PROPERTY TAX
For appeals to the tax assessor, this form must be filed with the local office of tax assessment within ninety (90) days from the date the first tax payment is due. For appeals to the local tax board of review, this form must be filed with the localtax board of review not more than thirty (30) days after the assessor renders a decision, or if the assessor does not render a decision within forty-five (45) days of the filing of the appeal, not more than ninety (90) days after the expiration of the forty-five (45) day period. 1. TAXPAYER INFORMATION: A. Name(s) of Assessed Owner: ___________________________________________ B. Name(s) and Status of Applicant (if other than AssessedOwner): _________________ ____________Subsequent Owner (Acquired Title After December 31 on _____________ 20________ ) ________ Administrator/Executor ________ Lessee ________ Mortgagee _________ Other Specify ________ C. Mailing Address and Telephone No.: _________________ ( ) _________________
Address Tel. No. D. Previous Assessed Value _____________ E. New Assessed Value _____________ 2. PROPERTY IDENTIFICATION:Complete using information as it appears on tax bill. A. Tax BillAccount No.:_______ Assessed Valuation ________ AnnualTax __________ B. Location:________________________ Description: __________________________
No. Street Zip RealEstate ParcelIdentification:Map ______ Block ______ Parcel______ Type ______ Tangible Personal C. Date Property Acquired:Purchase Price:Totalcost of any improvements __________ What is the amount of fire insurance on building: 3. REASON(S) REDUCTION SOUGHT:Check reason(s) reduction is warranted and briefly explain why it applies. Continue explanation on attachment if necessary. Overvaluation. Incorrect Usage Classification. Disproportionate Assessment. Other Specify: Applicant's Opinion of Value $ Fair Market Value Class Assessed Value
Have you filed a true and exact account this year with the City Assessor as required by law? Comparable Properties that support your claim: Address Sale Price Sales Date Property Type Assessed value ____________________________________________________________________ ____________________________________________________________________ ____________________________________________________________________ 4. SIGNATURES; SIGNATUREOF APPLICANT DATE SIGNATUREOF AUTHORIZED AGENT DATE ___________________________________________________________( )_______________ Name of Preparer Address Tel. No.
TAXPAYER INFORMATION ABOUT APPEAL PROCEDURE
REASONS FOR AN APPEAL. It is the intent of the generalassembly to ensure that all taxpayers in Rhode Island are treated equitably. Ensuring that taxpayers are treated fairly begins where cities and towns meet defined standards related to performing property values. All properties should be assessed in a uniform manner, and properties of equal value should be assessed the same.
TO DISPUTEYOUR VALUATION OR ASSESSMENTOR CORRECTANY OTHER BILLING PROBLEM OR ERROR THAT CAUSED YOUR TAX BILL TO BE HIGHER THAN IT SHOULD BE, YOU MUST APPEAL WITHIN NINETY (90) DAYS FROM THE DATE THE FIRST TAX PAYMENT IS DUE.
You may appealyour assessmentif your property is: (1) OVERVALUED (assessedvalue is more than the fair market value as of December 31 in the year of the last update or revaluation for real estate, or the current fair market value, whichever is greater, and as of December 31 of the tax year for personal estate for any reason, including clerical and data processing errors; (2) disproportionately assessed in comparison with other properties; (3) classified incorrectly as
LC000110 - Page 6of 11 residential, commercial, industrial or open space, farm or forest; (4) illegal tax partially or fully exempt; (5) modified from its condition from the time of the last update or revaluation.
WHO MAY FILE AN APPLICATION: You may file an application if you are (1) the assessed or subsequent (acquiring title after December 31) owner of the property; (2) the owner's administrator or executor; (3) a tenant or group of tenants of real estate paying rent therefrom, and under obligations to pay more than one-half (1/2) of the taxes thereon; (4) a person owning or having an interest in or possession of the property; or (5) a mortgagee if the assessed owner has not applied. In some cases, you must pay allor a portion of the tax before you can file.
WHEN AND WHERE APPLICATION MUST BE FILED. Your application must be filed with the local office of tax assessment within NINETY (90) days from the date the first tax payment is due. THESE DEADLINES CANNOT BE EXTENDED OR WAIVED BY THE ASSESSOR FOR ANY REASON. IFYOUR APPLICATION IS NOT FILED ON TIME, YOU LOSE ALL RIGHTS TO AN ABATEMENT AND THE ASSESSOR CANNOT BY LAW GRANT YOU ONE. AN APPLICATION IS FILED WHEN RECEIVED BY THE ASSESSOR'S OFFICE.
PAYMENT OF TAX. Filing an application does not stay the collection of your taxes. In some cases, you must pay the tax when due to appeal the assessors disposition of your application. Failure to pay the tax assessed when due may also subject you to interest charges and collection action. To avoid any loss of rights or additional charges, you should pay the tax as assessed. If anabatement is granted and you have already paid the entire year's tax as abated, you will receive a refund of any overpayment.
FILING AN ACCOUNT. Rhode Island General Laws Section 44-5-15 requires the annual filing of a true and exact account of allratable estate owned or possessed by every person and corporate body. The time to file is between December 31, and January 31, of intention to submit declaration by March 15. Failure to file a true and fullaccount, within the prescribed time, eliminates the right to appeal to the superior court, subject to the exceptions provided in Rhode Island General Laws Section 44-5-26(b). No amended returns willbe accepted after March 15th. Such notice of your intention must be sent by certified mail, postage prepaid, postmark no later than 12 o'clock midnight of the last day, January 31. No extensions beyond March 15th can be granted. The form for filing such account may be obtained from the city or town assessor.
ASSESSOR'S DISPOSITION. Upon applying for a reduction in assessment, you may be asked to provide the assessor with further written information about the property and to permit them to inspect it. Failure to provide the information or permit an inspection within thirty (30) days of the request may result in the loss of your appealrights.
LC000110 - Page 7of 11
APPEAL. The assessor shall have forty-five (45) days to review the appeal, render a decision and notify the taxpayer of the decision. The taxpayer, if still aggrieved, may appeal the decision of the tax assessor to the localtax board of review, or in the event that the assessor does not render a decision, the taxpayer may appealto the localtax board of review at the expiration of the forty-five (45) day period. Appeals to the local tax board of review shall be filed not more than thirty (30) days after the assessor renders a decision and notifies the taxpayer, or if the assessor does not render a decision within forty-five (45) days of the filing of the appeal, not more than ninety (90) days after the expiration of the forty-five (45) day period. ____________________________________________________________________
DISPOSITION OF APPLICATION (ASSESSOR'S USE ONLY)
GRANTED Assessed Value _________ Date Sent____________ Abated Value __________ Date Returned__________ DENIED Adjusted Value _________
Date Voted/Deemed Denied Tax Board of Review Date Change Certificate No.
Any person still aggrieved on any ground whatsoever by an assessment of taxes against him or her in any city or town may, within thirty (30) days of the tax board of review decision notice, file a petition in the superior court for the county in which the city or town lies for relief from the assessment, to which petition the assessors of taxes of the city or town in office at the time the petition is filed shall be made parties respondent, and the clerk shall thereupon issue a citation substantially in the following form:
THE STATE OF
RHODE ISLAND AND PROVIDENCE PLANTATIONS.
To the sheriffs of several counties, or to their deputies, Greetings: We command you to summon the assessors of taxes of the town of _________:to wit, _________of _________ (if to be found in your precinct) to answer the complaint of __________ of _________ on the return day hereof (said return day being the _______ day of _______ A.D. 20_______) in the superior court to be holden at the county courthouse in __________ as by petition filed in court is fully set forth; and to show cause why said petition should not be granted. Hereof fail not, and make true return of this writ with your doings thereon. Witness, the seal of our superior court, at
LC000110 - Page 8of 11 __________ this ________ day of _________ in the year ______ _____________________________________, Clerk.
(c) Provided, that in case the person has not filed an account, or filed an appeal first within the local tax board of review, that person shallnot have the benefit of the remedy provided in this section and in §§ 44-5-27 – 44-5-31, unless:(1) that person's realestate has been assessed at a value in excess of the value at which it was assessed on the last preceding assessment day, whether then owned by that personor not, and has beenassessed, if assessment has been made at full and fair cash value, at a value in excess of its full and fair cash value, or, if assessment has purportedly been made at a uniform percentage of full and fair cash value, at a percentage in excess of the uniform percentage; or (2) the tax assessed is illegal in whole or in part; and that person's remedy is limited to a review of the assessmenton the realestate or to relief with respect to the illegal tax, as the case may be.
44-5-30. Judgment on petition where taxpayer has filed account.
If the taxpayer has given in an account, and if on the trial of the petition, either with or without a jury, it appears that the taxpayer's real estate, tangible personal property, or intangible personal property has been assessed, if assessment has been made at fulland fair cash value, at a value in excess of its full and fair cash value, or if assessment has purportedly been made at a uniform percentage of full and fair cash value, at a percentage in excess of the uniform percentage, in excess of the provisions of § 44-5-12 or if it appears that the tax assessed is illegal in whole or in part, the court shall give judgment that the sum by which the taxpayer has been so overtaxed, or illegally taxed, with his or her costs, be deducted from his or her tax; but if the taxpayer's tax be paid, whether before or after the filing of the petition, then the court shall give judgment for the petitioner for the sum by which he or she has been so overtaxed, or illegally taxed, plus the amount of any penalty paid on the tax, with interest from the date on which the tax and penalty were paid and costs, which judgment shall be paid to the petitioner by the city or town treasurer out of the treasury. If, however, on the trial of the petition, it appears that the taxpayer has fraudulently concealed or omitted any property from his or her account, or if it appears that the assessors have not assessed either the taxpayer's realestate or his or her tangible personal property or his or her intangible personal property at a value in excess of its fulland fair cash value, if assessment has been made at full and fair cash value, or if assessment has purportedly been made at a uniform percentage of full and fair cash value, at a percentage in excess of the uniform percentage, the provisions of § 44-5-12 and that the taxpayer has not been illegally taxed, the assessors shallhave judgment and execution for their costs.
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SECTION 2. This act shalltake effect upon passage. ======== LC000110 ========
BY THE LEGISLATIVE COUNCIL
A N A C T
RELATING TO TAXATION - LEVY AND ASSESSMENT OF LOCAL TAXES
This act would authorize tax assessors to use either the last revaluation or the current fair market value, whichever is greater, as the assessed valuation.
This act would take effect upon passage. ======== LC000110 ========
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official RI website, too!)