So, unlike last year at this time, you haven’t received your Warwick tax bill.
No, the bills haven’t slipped through the cracks. They should be in the mail early next month, City Tax Assessor Neal Dupuis said Tuesday.
It’s not that the bills are delayed, but this year it appears the state will have a budget by the start of the fiscal year on July 1 and it will include the next step in the plan to phase out the motor vehicle tax. In expectation of the phaseout, the city can proceed with preparation of about 100,000 motor vehicle tax bills that will go in the mail with about 38,000 real estate bills.
With the uncertain future of the motor vehicle tax phaseout last year, the city moved ahead with the real estate bills. Motor vehicle taxes were sent following passage of the state budget in August.
Dupuis said his office would send assessment information to D-3, an East Providence company that will print and mail the bills.
The first quarterly payment is due July 15, however, as Dupuis pointed no penalty interest would be applied until Sept. 16. Those looking to pay taxes in full have until Sept. 15 to make payment.
While the quarterly payment schedule hasn’t changed, taxpayers accustomed to paying their bills in person should know not to go to City Hall in Apponaug. A burst frozen pipe in early January forced evacuation of the City Hall Annex and the relocation of those offices to the former Greene School on Draper Avenue. As the closure came on the heels of the January 15 tax payment deadline, the tax collector’s office was hastily assembled in the downstairs conference room in City Hall. It has since also been relocated to Draper Avenue.
City Tax Collector Kyla Jones said her office is ready for a wave of taxpayers looking to hand over their checks or cash and get a receipt. But she reminded taxpayers could make it easier on themselves if they return payment in the envelopes provided.
“The best bet is to mail it to Boston,” she said, referencing the address of the company that processes payments.
The city also offers an online payment option with a 2.5 percent (of the payment) or minimum $3.95 “convenience fee.” While that is a cost that is easily avoided, Jones said a surprising number of taxpayers use the online payment.
“Some do it for the points,” she said.
While real estate tax bills will be later than last year, they also call for an increase in rates as part of the $316.3 million budget package passed by the City Council and signed by Mayor Joseph Solomon. The rates are: $20.80 per $1,000 of valuation for residential properties; $31.19 for commercial and industrial properties and $41.59 for tangible property The motor vehicle rate remains at $34.60, but because of the continuing phaseout of the tax, taxpayers should see a drop in their bill. Dupuis explained the tax would be based on 90 percent of the NADA book valuation. Last year, it was at 95 percent of the NADA value. In addition, he said, the exemption will climb from $1,500 to $2,000 per vehicle.
Also relating to city taxes, although it won’t be applicable until next year’s bills, will be a citywide statistical revaluation. The revaluation that looks at recent sales to establish neighborhood values is slated to start this year and be completed, including hearings over contested values, by April. The revaluation will establish values as of Dec. 31, 2018.
Dupuis said the cost of the revaluation that he projected would be about $350,000 and would be reimbursed by the state.
The state is also making whole what the city is losing in motor vehicle tax revenues as a result of the phaseout program.