44-5-12 Assessment at full and fair cash value.

(a) All property subject to taxation shall be assessed at its full and fair cash value, or at a uniform percentage of its value, not to exceed one hundred percent (100%), 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 which is classified as farm land, forest, or open space land in accordance with chapter 27 of this title the assessors shall consider no factors in determining the full and fair cash value of the real estate other than those which 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 thousand dollars ($20,000) as determined by the tax assessor of the city of Central Falls is exempt from reassessment of property taxes on the improvement or addition until the 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.

   (b) Municipalities shall make available to every land owner whose property is taxed under the provisions of this section a document which 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 retail inventory 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 fiscal year 1999, by the assessors in each town and city. Once the fiscal year 1999 value of the inventory has been assessed, this value shall not 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.

44-5-39 Land use change tax.

 

(a) After May 15, 1980, when land classified as farm, forest, or open space land and assessed and taxed under the provisions of 44-5-12 is applied to a use other than as farm, forest, or open space, or when the land owner voluntarily withdraws that classification, it shall be subject to additional taxes, subsequently referred to as a land use change tax. The tax is at the following rate:

   (1) Ten percent (10%) of the then fair market value of the land if the use is changed or classification is withdrawn during the first six (6) years of classification.

   (2) Nine percent (9%) of the then fair market value of the land if the use is changed or classification is withdrawn during the seventh (7th) year of classification.

   (3) Eight percent (8%) of the then fair market value of the land if the use is changed or classification is withdrawn during the eighth (8th) year of classification.

   (4) Seven percent (7%) of the then fair market value of the land if the use is changed or classification is withdrawn during the ninth (9th) year of classification.

   (5) Six percent (6%) of the then fair market value of the land if the use is changed or classification is withdrawn during the tenth (10th) year of classification.

   (6) Five percent (5%) of the then fair market value of the land if the use is changed or classification is withdrawn during the eleventh (11th) year of classification.

   (7) Four percent (4%) of the then fair market value of the land if the use is changed or classification is withdrawn during the twelfth (12th) year of classification.

   (8) Three percent (3%) of the then fair market value of the land if the use is changed or classification is withdrawn during the thirteenth (13th) year of classification.

   (9) Two percent (2%) of the then fair market value of the land if the use is changed or classification is withdrawn during the fourteenth (14th) year of classification.

   (10) One percent (1%) of the then fair market value of the land if the use is changed or classification is withdrawn during the fifteenth (15th) year of classification. No tax shall be imposed by the provisions of this section following the end of the fifteenth (15th) year of classification.

   (b) Owners of land classified as farmland who have held title to the land, and where the land has been farmed for five (5) years previous to classification, are liable for a land use change tax of:

   (1) Ten percent (10%) of the then fair market value of the land if the use is changed or classification is withdrawn during the first (1st) year of classification.

   (2) Nine percent (9%) of the then fair market value of the land if the use is changed or classification is withdrawn during the second (2nd) year of classification.

   (3) Eight percent (8%) of the then fair market value of the land if the use is changed or classification is withdrawn during the third (3rd) year of classification.

   (4) Seven percent (7%) of the then fair market value of the land if the use is changed or classification is withdrawn during the fourth (4th) year of classification.

   (5) Six percent (6%) of the then fair market value of the land if the use is changed or classification is withdrawn during the fifth (5th) year of classification.

   (6) Five percent (5%) of the then fair market value of the land if the use is changed or classification is withdrawn during the sixth (6th) year of classification.

   (7) Four percent (4%) of the then fair market value of the land if the use is changed or classification is withdrawn during the seventh (7th) year of classification.

   (8) Three percent (3%) of the then fair market value of the land if the use is changed or classification is withdrawn during the eighth (8th) year of classification.

   (9) Two percent (2%) of the then fair market value of the land if the use is changed or classification is withdrawn during the ninth (9th) year of classification.

   (10) One percent (1%) of the then fair market value of the land if the use is changed or classification is withdrawn during the tenth (10th) year of classification. No tax shall be imposed by the provisions of this section following the end of the tenth year of classification.

CHAPTER 44-27
Taxation of Farm, Forest, and Open Space Land

SECTION 44-27-1

 

    44-27-1  Legislative declaration. It is declared:

   (1) That it is in the public interest to encourage the preservation of farm, forest, and open space land in order to maintain a readily available source of food and farm products close to the metropolitan areas of the state, to conserve the state's natural resources, and to provide for the welfare and happiness of the inhabitants of the state.

   (2) That it is in the public interest to prevent the forced conversion of farm, forest, and open space land to more intensive uses as the result of economic pressures caused by the assessment for purposes of property taxation at values incompatible with their preservation as farm, forest, and open space land.

   (3) That the necessity in the public interest of the enactment of the provisions of this chapter is a matter of legislative determination.

44-27-6  Appeals to superior court. (a) Any person or persons jointly or severally aggrieved by a decision of the board of assessment review, or city or town council, may appeal to the superior court for the county in which the municipality is situated by filing a complaint stating the reasons of appeal within ninety (90) days after the decision has been filed in the office of the board of assessment review, or city or town council. The board of assessment review, or city or town council, shall file the original documents acted upon by it and constituting the record of the case appealed from, or certified copies of the original documents, together with any other facts that may be pertinent with the clerk of the court within ten (10) days after being served with a copy of the complaint. When the complaint is filed by someone other than the original applicant or appellant, the original applicant or appellant and the members of the board of review, or city or town council, are made parties to the proceedings. The appeal shall not stay proceedings upon the decision appealed from, but the court may, in its discretion, grant a stay on appropriate terms and make other orders that it deems necessary for an equitable disposition of the appeal.

   (b) If, before the date set for the hearing in the superior court, application is made to the court for leave to present additional evidence before the board of assessment review, or city or town council, and it is shown to the satisfaction of the court that the additional evidence is material and that there were good reasons for the failure to present it at the hearing before the board of review, or city or town council, the court may order that the additional evidence be taken before the board of review, or city or town council, upon conditions determined by the court. The board of review, or city or town council, may modify its findings and decision by reason of that additional evidence and file that evidence and any modification, new findings, or decisions with the superior court.

   (c) The review shall be conducted by the superior court without a jury. The court shall consider the record of the hearing before the board of assessment review, or city or town council, and if it appears to the court that additional evidence is necessary for the proper disposition of the matter, it may allow any party to the appeal to present that evidence in open court, which evidence along with the record constitutes the record upon which the determination of the court is made. The court shall not substitute its judgment for that of the board of assessment review, or city or town council, as to the weight of the evidence on question of fact. The court may affirm the decision of the board of assessment review, or city or town council, or remand the case for further proceedings, or may reverse or modify the decision if substantial rights of the appellant have been prejudiced because of findings, inferences, conclusions, or decisions which are:

   (1) In violation of constitutional, statutory, or ordinance provisions;

   (2) In excess of the authority granted to the board of assessment review, or city or town council, by statute or ordinance;

   (3) Made upon unlawful procedure;

   (4) Affected by other error of law;

   (5) Clearly erroneous in view of the reliable, probative, and substantial evidence of the whole record; or

   (6) Arbitrary or capricious or characterized by abuse of discretion or clearly unwarranted exercise of discretion.

   (d) If the taxpayer's tax is paid, whether before or after the filing of the petition, then the court shall upon a finding in favor of the petitioner, give judgment for the petitioner for the sum by which he or she has been overtaxed, or illegally taxed, plus the amount of any penalty paid, with interest at the rate of twelve percent (12%) per annum from the date on which the tax and penalty were paid and costs. The judgment shall be paid to the petitioner by the city or town treasurer out of the treasury.

  44-27-7  Rules and regulations. The director of environmental management is authorized to promulgate those rules and regulations that the director deems necessary to carry out his or her responsibilities and fulfill the purposes of this chapter.