No matter where you live, property taxes can get confusing…even in the smallest state of Rhode Island. Although small, you still may experience confusion with Rhode Island property taxes, as it can get tricky. Don’t know where to start? We’ve got you covered if you’re looking to buy a home in Rhode Island with this Rhode Island tax rate guide and everything you should know about Rhode Island property tax.
Rhode Island Property Taxes
Rhode Island property taxes are based on the amount your property would sell for in the open market, also known as market value. Rhode Island requires its cities and towns to assess property once every nine years. Also, update the assessed values on the third and sixth year to ensure properties that have been recently sold or altered are fairly assessed.
In Rhode Island, this means that everywhere aside from Block Island, the assessed value is the same as the market value. The properties are assessed at 80% of their market value and tax rates are then applied to the assessed value to calculate your annual Rhode Island property tax bill.
With that being said, the state of Rhode Island uses the Rhode Island Division of Municipal Finance and RI Division of Taxation, while Rhode Island counties have their own assessors and tax collectors.
The RI Division of Municipal Finance helps provide guidance to municipalities and their colleagues in matters relating to property taxes. Meanwhile, the RI Division of Taxation administers state taxes and assists taxpayers.
Although we are discussing Rhode Island as a whole when it comes to property taxes, the assessors and auditors who handle property taxes in Rhode Island vary by county. Therefore, we will use the state capital, Providence, as an example, since it’s the biggest city.
The Assessor’s Office in Providence is part of the Finance Department. The office provides property tax assessment functions and provides an annually certified tax roll– the basis for the formulation of the City’s levy–that is created at the end of the conclusion of the fiscal year. Furthermore, the Providence Assessor’s Office is also the keeper of records of all real estate, tangible, and motor vehicle tax records.
- Providence City Hall
- 25 Dorrance St #208, Providence, RI 02903
- (401) 680-5229
- Hours: Monday – Friday 8:30 a.m. – 4:30 p.m. & 8:30 a.m. – 4:00 p.m. (July and August)
The office of the Rhode Island General Treasurer strives to promote economic growth and financial security for all Rhode Island residents while working to protect the State’s assets with sound investments and strengthen the State’s financial position. The Rhode Island Treasurer is involved with the pension system, public school infrastructure, a program to help small businesses, unclaimed property, a crime victim compensation program, tuition saving plans, as well as financial education and services.
We also want to discuss the state of Rhode Island Division of Taxation here. This is because this office works with banks, mortgage companies, and credit card companies to obtain receipts of taxes and payments through escrow. Furthermore, the office also provides municipal lien certificates for real estate closings and mortgage refinancing.
Seth Magaziner, Treasurer
- Office of the General Treasurer
- 82 Smith St #102, Providence, RI 02903
- Phone: (401) 222-2397
- Office of the General Treasurer
- 50 Service Ave
- Warwick, RI 02886
- Phone: (401) 462-7650
Rhode Island Property Tax Rate
Rhode Island property taxes vary by county. However, the average effective property tax rate is 1.63%, which is more than the average U.S. effective property tax rate of 1.1%. Plus, the average U.S. property tax bill is $2,471, while Rhode Island residents will pay over $4,000 a year in property taxes with a median property value of $261,900 and an annual tax on the median-valued property of $4,272. This makes the state one of the most expensive rates for homeowners.
Furthermore, the state and its local governments collect about $11 billion in total revenue annually, with $2.5 billion (22.6%) of that total revenue coming from property taxes. The average homeowner pays $14.78 for every $1,000 of home value in property taxes, while the state’s property tax bill adds up to $4,319.
Rhode Island’s property taxes are based on your property’s market value, which is why the state requires its towns and cities to assess property once every nine years. They also have to update the assessed values in the third and sixth years. These tax rates are then applied to the assessed value to determine your annual Rhode Island property tax bill.
With that being said, the state’s property tax rates are set by cities and towns depending on their required annual budget in order to keep the town functioning with its mandated services. Those mandated services can range from law enforcement to infrastructure, schools, parks, and more. Although all the taxes go to the state, the cities and towns in Rhode Island can set their own due dates and property systems under state guidelines.
The Rhode Island property tax rates are set in dollars per $1,000 of assessed value. For example, if your property is located in a Rhode Island city or town with a rate of $20, you would pay $20 for every $1000 of assessed value in property taxes.
If your home has an assessed value of $100,000, your Rhode Island property tax bill would add up to ($20/$1000 x $100,000) $2,000. This is by using the aforementioned tax rate.
However, you can always apply for a tax exemption if you qualify to try and lower the rate of your property taxes as well as file a Rhode Island Property Tax Relief Claim. There’s also a property tax cap in the state of Rhode Island. You can find the most recent (2022) Rode Island Class Rates by Class of Property here.
Helpful tools and links for more tax rates:
Rhode Island Property Tax
How much are property taxes in Rhode Island by city/town?
Since Rhode Island property tax varies by county, we’ve compiled a list of municipalities and have shown you the property tax by the specific property.
Rhode Island Property Tax Rates for All Towns
|MUNICIPALITY||Residential Real Estate||Commercial Real Estate||Personal Property||Motor Vehicles|
|Source: Division of Municipal Finance|
Rhode Island Property Tax Payments – Due Dates & How to Pay Your Tax Bill
Property taxes in Rhode Island are due at the city or town’s discretion. Similarly, when property tax bills are sent out according to the town or city mailing them. Typically speaking, tax bills are due quarterly throughout the year.
Although there are different options from municipalities to hand-deliver or mail in property taxes, according to the RI Division of Taxation, you can easily make tax payments online as well. The Division created a tax portal that allows residents to do the following to file and pay tax returns along with other things.
If you don’t pay your property taxes on time in Rhode Island, the overdue amount becomes a lien on the property, which makes the property act as a type of collateral for the debt. Just all states, Rhode Island has a law that allows the local government to sell a home through a tax sale process to collect delinquent taxes. Therefore, if you don’t pay your property taxes, the tax collector can sell your property, or part of it, at a tax sale.
However, Rhode Island will give you a fair warning before a tax sale. You’ll also get the chance to get your home back afterward. Under Rhode Island law, most people get at least one year to reclaim/redeem the property even after someone else buys it at a tax sale.
If you can’t make the deadline for filing property taxes, Rhode Island offers a Rhode Island Property Tax Relief claim.
Rhode Island Property Search/Tax Records
If you’re moving to Rhode Island or already have a house there, you’re going to want to look up property tax information on your home.
If you’re looking to find the annual tax rates for Rhode Island counties, you’ll want to use the Rhode Island property tax lookup tool from the RI Division of Municipal Finance. They also have more resources that link to different publications, forms, links, and guidance documents. These will vary by town, but for example, Providence uses NEReval. This website also allows you to search for other taxes in other towns. Each county and town also has its own property tax maps that can be found on its websites. For example, Providence has its own tax assessor map.
The state of Rhode Island website also has a section dedicated to land records which provides you with quick access to the municipalities that have their land records available online as well as their tax assessments.
Rhode Island Property Tax Exemptions
Each town and city in Rhode Island offer different tax exemptions depending on the county, with the most common two being homestead and senior exemptions:
- Rhode Island Homestead Exemption: Protects struggling homeowners from losing their principal residences in a case of bankruptcy, granted by the homestead protection laws, where the state protects up to $500,000 of your home’s equity against seizure by creditors. Rhode Island also has a “wildcard” exemption that protects up to $6,500 worth of assets. Please note that this exemption has no bearing on the accrual of Rhode Island property taxes.
- Rhode Island Senior Citizens Exemption: Excuses a certain amount of your property’s assessed value from Rhode Island property taxes (and eligibility varies on location) if you’re an elderly homeowner aged 65 years or older. More details on eligibility, application, and amount exempted can be obtained from your local Tax Assessor.
There is also the Veterans’ Exemption which allows the property of a veteran who served in the armed forces and was honorably discharged to be exempt from taxation for an amount of up to $1000.
However, it’s important to note that all exemptions are not available in every Rhode Island municipality. For example, the City of Providence does not offer a homestead exemption. Instead, Providence homeowners still have to follow Rhode Island property tax due dates as set by the towns.
Rhode Island Property Tax Appeals
All property owners in the district are charged the same amount and this is changed at the local government level. If the board approves a homeowner’s appeal, however, this means they agree to decrease the assessed value of your home, which is how to get a lower property tax amount.
In order to appeal with the Board of Tax Assessment Review/Tax Appeal you must do the following:
- First, get your assessment: In order to make a tax appeal, the first thing you need to do is actually get your tax assessment. You can find your property’s assessment either on your tax bill or ask your town’s Tax Assessor.
- See if you’ve been over-assessed: Once you find your assessment, you need to make sure you qualify for an appeal. In order to find out if the value on the assessment seems like a fair estimate of the market value, you need to figure out the appraisal details of properties similar to yours. You can do this by visiting a tax search tool and comparing other appraised values.
- If you qualify, fill out the appeal forms. Your local Tax Assessor will have these forms handy.
- Next, file the property tax appeal with your town’s Tax Assessor within 90 days from the day your first tax installment is due. You may also appeal to the local Tax Board of Review. If you choose to do so, you must file the appeal in 30 days or less after the Assessor gives a decision.
- Once you file, get ready for the appeal hearing. Collect your evidence that shows your property is over-assessed. Try obtaining a recent appraisal report, findings from your tax search, and even photographs. You must be at the hearing in order to present the data, and you must be prepared for the Tax Assessor’s Counterargument.
- The Board of Tax Assessment Review can then appeal to the Superior Court in the county within 30 days of the local board making their appeal decision.
Depending on the county and municipality, you can file for an appeal either via mail, in person, or online.
Rhode Island Property Tax FAQ
When are property taxes due in Rhode Island?
The property taxes vary from county to county in Rhode Island. They are able to set their own property tax due dates.
At what age do you stop paying property taxes in Rhode Island?
Rhode Island is one of six states in the country that allows some residents to freeze their property tax rate. In order to qualify for a Rhode Island property tax freeze or exemption, you need to be a homeowner 65 years old or older and earn an annual income of less than $4,000.
How are property taxes calculated in Rhode Island?
Property taxes in Rhode Island are calculated by taking the median property tax rate of $1,571 per $100,000 of assessed home value.
Property taxes may seem tricky, but this guide tells you what you need to know about property taxes in Rhode Island. While a small state, many property tax decisions (such as when they’re mailed out and due dates) vary in the country. If you plan on moving to Rhode Island, let us help you make one thing less complicated- the moving process. Let Correira Brothers Moving & Storage, Inc. make the process as smooth as possible, leaving you with one less thing to worry about! We will take care of your personal belongings while you take care of those property taxes in your new home!