How can I pay my taxes?
There are several ways to pay:
You can mail your payment to address on your bill, or you can pay in person at the teller windows in the Collector's office on the second floor of City Hall), by 24 hour automated phone at
(855) 288-0302 or pay online from the link on the Collector's opening web page. A credit/debit card or check is needed to use the phone or online payment options and a processing charge applies.
You can use your electronic banking tools to pay your taxes; however to ensure that your account is credited by the due date you should arrange for delivery of the check ON OR BEFORE each quarterly due date. Also, ensure your City account number or plat/lot is provided in the "memo" section of the check since the bank cannot forward the payment coupon.
Remember that if any quarter is received late, the entire remaining tax bill is accelerated and is immediately due. For more information about interest accrual, see below.
When can I expect my bill?
The City mails tax bills once a year in the summer as soon as possible after the tax rate is set. If you do not receive a tax bill by the second week of July, visit our website or call the office for updates on the mailing date. State law requires you to ascertain and pay your taxes even if you do not receive a bill!
What are the tax payment deadlines?
Quarterly tax payments are due by the following dates:
Important information on interest accrual on unpaid taxes It is VERY important to pay ALL installments on time! If ANY installment is paid late, under RI state law, ALL remaining quarters are due immediately with retroactive interest to July 1. (In other words, if you pay the third quarter after the due date, the fourth quarter is due IMMEDIATELY-- and interest on the third and fourth quarters is assessed from July 1).
If you are having problems paying any installment on time, or have any question regarding receipt of your payment, please contact the Collector's office.
I just refinanced my mortgage and the new bank does not escrow/pay property taxes. OR I just paid off my mortgage and the bank used to pay my taxes. What should I do?
Contact the City Assessor to change the billing address to your home (or wherever you receive your mail.) Otherwise, tax bills and other notices will go to your old bank.
You can also Sign up for E-mail notifications from the Tax Collector. Email notification will remind you when it is time to make the next quarterly installment and of account status.
Does the City use collection agencies for unpaid taxes?
Yes. The City has contracted with MCA to collect delinquent taxes. The City has contracted with Rossi Law Office for litigation of accounts when normal collection attempts have failed. Unpaid taxes are NOT reported to credit rating agencies.
How is interest on my bill calculated?
Interest is charged when taxes are not paid by the due date. Although quarterly payments are the norm for most people, the state law indicates that an entire tax bill is due at the beginning of the fiscal year, but permits quarterly payments. This distinction is important to know, because if a payment is delinquent in ANY quarter, the remaining tax IMMEDIATELY becomes due and interest is calculated at a rate of 1% per each delinquent month on the unpaid balance from July 1 of the billing year.
My property is going up for tax sale. What does this mean?
Property is subject "tax sale" when the taxes are seriously delinquent. "Tax sale" means the City asks an interested third party to pay the taxes owed to the City in your place.
In exchange for the payment, the City gives a tax lien on your property in favor of the party who paid your taxes. Unless you pay back the third party (not the City) the back taxes and fees, that party has the right, after one year and one day (366 days), to take title to your property through the court. This proceeding is called "foreclosing the right of redemption." This is a serious situation because you can lose your property by order of the court.
If my property is listed for tax sale, are there any resources available to help me?
If you are an owner-occupier of a property listed for tax sale, Rhode Island Housing may be able to help you avoid tax sale. Rhode Island Housing is a non-profit institution with the mission to help Rhode Islanders with home ownership. You can learn more at http://www.rhodeislandhousing.org/
I would like to buy a business but do not know what taxes are owed. What can I do?
If you are buying or selling a business, the Collector's office will furnish you with a municipal lien certificate (MLC), which identifies all taxes owed and paid on a business. In RI, business and excise taxes are billed one year BEHIND the current year. Stated another way, a business pays no tax in Year One of its operation. In Year Two, it pays the tax on the value of the business fixtures as it existed in Year One.
If a business's tax is not current, it cannot renew its license. Therefore if your business is denied the "renew by mail" option for its license, it may be that the taxes are unpaid.
DMV has blocked my vehicle registration because taxes are unpaid. What can I do?
Come to our office in City Hall with money order or cash as payment and we will clear your registration block. Then you can proceed to DMV to renew your registration. For more information click here.